30 August 2012, 14:12

UN chief slams Iran over Holocaust, anti-Israel remarks

UN chief slams Iran over Holocaust, anti-Israel remarks

UN chief Ban Ki-moon on Thursday reprimanded Iran for "outrageous" comments denying the Holocaust and Israel's right to exist, and called on the two arch-nemeses to drop threats against each other.

"I strongly reject any threat by any (UN) member state to destroy another, or outrageous comments to deny historical facts such as the Holocaust," Ban said in a speech before a Non-Aligned summit in Tehran.

"Claiming another UN member state does not have the right to exist or describe it in racist terms is not only utterly wrong but undermines the very principles we have all praised to uphold," he added. 

Khamenei denounces UN Security Council 'dictatorship' 

Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Thursday slammed the "overt dictatorship" of the UN Security Council in a speech opening a Tehran summit that included UN chief Ban Ki-moon in the audience.

"The UN Security Council has an irrational, unjust and utterly undemocratic structure, and this is an overt dictatorship," Khamenei told the 120-member Non-Aligned Movement summit.

Iran is in a showdown with the UN over its disputed nuclear programme, which has resulted in four sets of Security Council resolutions imposing sanctions on it for pursuing uranium enrichment.

Iran 'never seeking nuclear weapons,' leader tells summit

Iran is "never seeking nuclear weapons" and will not give up its right to develop nuclear energy, supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei told a summit of non-aligned countries that opened in Tehran Thursday.

"I insist that the Islamic Republic of Iran is never seeking nuclear weapons," Khamenei said, rebutting Western and Israeli suspicions his country was engaged in pursuing such a goal.

"We will never give up the right to peaceful nuclear energy," he said, underlining Iran's determination to push ahead with its atomic programme.

Egypt's Morsi: Syrian government "oppressive"

Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi criticised the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in a speech on Thursday at a summit of developing countries being held in Iran, a steadfast ally of Assad.

"Now there is a revolution in Syria against the oppressive regime," Mursi said in Tehran before world leaders of the Non-Aligned Movement.

Non-aligned countries begin their summit in Tehran

A summit conference of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) is opening in Tehran.

Taking part are 24 heads of state, three kings and about 80 heads of government and cabinet ministers.

The Iranian nuclear program and the situation in Syria are expected to take center stage. Earlier, a number of non-aligned countries approved Tehran’s proposal to set up a contact group on Syria. The NAM unites 120 countries accounting for more than a half of the global population.

The key principle of their foreign policy is non-participation in military blocs.

AFP, TASS, Reuters

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