Responses to address to the UN General Assembly by Iranian President Ahmadinejad (23 Sept 2008)

Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Tzipi Livni (24 Sept 2008):

"Ahmadinejad’s speech at the UN demonstrates the absurd state of affairs of the organization whose founding motto was "Never Again". But, that is not even the worst of it. Iran is now asking to be included as a member of the UN Security Council. This is like allowing a criminal to be his own judge and jury.

"This is an unprecedented absurdity – for a state that is threatening the security of its neighbors and calling for the destruction of another state to be a member of the body whose goal is to maintain international peace and security.

"Iran is the subject of Security Council sanctions because it pursues a nuclear weapons program and supplies weapons to terrorist organizations, thereby violating numerous Security Council resolutions. Responsible countries cannot support Iran’s membership in the body responsible for the implementation of those same sanctions.

"What is needed now is to apply international pressure on Iran which would leave no doubt as to the price involved in ignoring the demands of the international community – rather than including Iran in the very body that is spearheading this action."

President Shimon Peres in address to UN General Assembly (24 Sept 2008):

At the center of this violence and fanaticism stands Iran. It built a danger to the entire world. Its quest for religious hegemony and regional dominance divides the Middle East and holds back chances for peace, while undermining human rights. Iranian support for Hizbullah divided Lebanon. Its support for Hamas split the Palestinians and postpones the establishment of the Palestinian State.

Yesterday, on this very stage, the Iranian leader renewed the darkest anti-Semitic libel – the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. An attempt to bring to life one of the ugliest plots of history. Their despicable denial of the Holocaust is a mockery of indisputable evidence, a cynical offense to survivors of the horror. Contradictory to the resolutions adopted by this assembly.

Iran continues to develop enriched uranium and long range missiles. They introduce a religion of fear, opposing the call of the lord in respect of life.

The Iranian people are not our enemies. Their fanatic leadership is their problem and the world’s concern. Their leader is a danger to his people, the region and the world.

He is a disgrace to the ancient Iranian people. He is a disgrace to the values of Islam. He is a disgrace to this very house, the United Nations, its basic principles and values. His appearance here is already shame…

Tehran combines long-range missiles and short-range minds. It is pregnant with tragedies. The General Assembly and the Security Council bear responsibility to prevent agonies before they take place.