Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad characteristically went after Israel in his remarks before the United Nations annual General Assembly session. Reuters reports: (bolding is mine)
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Monday disregarded a U.N. warning to avoid incendiary rhetoric and declared ahead of the annual General Assembly session that Israel has no roots in the Middle East and would be “eliminated.”
Ahmadinejad also said he did not take seriously the threat that Israel could launch a military strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities, denied sending arms to Syria, and alluded to Iran’s threats to the life of British author Salman Rushdie.
The United States quickly dismissed the Iranian president’s comments as “disgusting, offensive and outrageous.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has hinted Israel could strike Iran’s nuclear sites and criticized U.S. President Barack Obama’s position that sanctions and diplomacy should be given more time to stop Tehran from acquiring nuclear weapons.
Iran denies it is seeking nuclear arms and says its atomic work is peaceful and aimed at generating electricity.
“Fundamentally we do not take seriously the threats of the Zionists,” Ahmadinejad, in New York for this week’s U.N. General Assembly, told reporters. “We have all the defensive means at our disposal and we are ready to defend ourselves.”
On Sunday, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon met with Ahmadinejad and warned him of the dangers of incendiary rhetoric in the Middle East.
Ahmadinejad, who has used previous U.N. sessions to question the Holocaust and the U.S. account of the 9/11 attacks, did not heed the warning and instead alluded to his previous rejection of Israel’s right to exist.
“Iran has been around for the last seven, 10 thousand years. They (the Israelis) have been occupying those territories for the last 60 to 70 years, with the support and force of the Westerners. They have no roots there in history,” he said, referring to the founding of the modern state of Israel in 1948.
Ordinarily, the response from the United States over the Iranian leader’s offensive speech would be expected, but top American officials were making similar criticisms about the obscure anti-Muslim online film trailer too. Over one week ago Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said of the trailer: (bolding is mine)
“To us, to me personally, this video is disgusting and reprehensible.” She then added, “It appears to have a deeply cynical purpose to denigrate a great religion and provoke rage. But as we said yesterday, there is no justification — none at all — for responding to this video with violence.”
See where diplomatic relativism gets our country? President Barack Obama will not meet with any foreign leaders privately but will address the General Assembly at the UN tomorrow. USA Today reports Mr. Obama will denounce the online anti-Muslim film trailer the administration initially claimed to have been the cause to anti-American protests and attacks on our overseas diplomatic missions.
Fox News Channel’s Charles Krauthammer said on Monday of Obama’s not meeting with foreign heads of state tomorrow, “I think the main reason he’s not going to meet with foreign leaders is the Israeli conundrum. The fact that I say that he doesn’t want to meet with Netanyahu, despite the denials of the White House. It’s obvious what’s going on here.”
Krauthammer then added, “He really isn’t willing to meet in Washington or in New York or that would have made it the story. Had he met, let’s say for example, the president of Egypt, it would have been he meets with the head of the Muslim Brotherhood but not with the head of our closest ally or even a country of less importance, so I think that was probably the driving element here.”