Ahmadinejad's comments on Israel draw US, UN flak

The US has condemned Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s tirade against Israel, calling it “reprehensible”, while UN chief Ban Ki-moon expressed dismay at the remarks that called the Jewish nation’s existence an “insult to humanity”.

In its reaction to Ahmadinejad’s latest comments, the White House urged the international community to condemn “hateful and divisive” rhetoric against Israel.

“We strongly condemn the latest series of offensive and reprehensible comments by senior Iranian officials that are aimed at Israel,” National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor said.

“The entire international community should condemn this hateful and divisive rhetoric. If Iranian officials are truly concerned about protecting the rights and dignity of all human beings, then Iran should stop supporting Assad’s brutal assault on the Syrian people,” Vietor said.

“Iran and Syria’s blatant disregard for basic human rights is the real insult to humanity,” he said.

In a late night statement, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said he is “dismayed” by the remarks threatening Israel’s existence. “The Secretary-General condemns these offensive and inflammatory statements,” said a statement issued by his spokesman.

“The Secretary-General believes that all leaders in the region should use their voices at this time to lower, rather than to escalate, tensions. In accordance with the United Nations Charter, all members must refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any State,” the UN statement said.

Meanwhile, top American Senator Bobb Casey, in a letter to the UN Secretary General, urged him not to attend the upcoming Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) in Tehran later this month.

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