Ahmadinejad's comments inflame Israeli ambassador (+video)
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called Israel a 'fake regime' shielded by the US at the UN General Assembly, prompting Israeli Ambassador, Ron Prosor to walk out of the meeting.
Iran's president called Israel a nuclear-armed "fake regime" shielded by the United States, prompting Israel's U.N. ambassador to walk out of a high-level U.N. meeting Monday promoting the rule of law.Skip to next paragraph
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Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad also accused the U.S. and others of misusing freedom of speech and failing to speak out against the defamation of people's beliefs and "divine prophets," an apparent reference to the recently circulated amateur video made in the U.S. which attacks Islam and denigrates the Prophet Muhammad.
The Iranian leader, who has called for Israel's destruction, used his speech to denounce Israel's occupation of Palestinian territory and U.S. vetoes in the U.N. Security Council to back its ally. He urged all nations to "hold occupiers accountable and make efforts to return the occupied territories to their rightful owners."
Ahmadinejad blamed the "discriminatory" veto power of the U.S., China, Russia, Britain and France for the Security Council's failure to ensure peace in the world, and he called for a change in the rules "in favor of nations with due regard to justice."
As Ahmadinejad addressed leaders and ministers from more than 100 countries, Israel's U.N. Ambassador Ron Prosor walked out of the General Assembly hall.
"Ahmadinejad showed again that he not only threatens the future of the Jewish people, he seeks to erase our past," Prosor said in a statement.
"Three thousand years of Jewish history illustrate the clear danger of ignoring fanatics like Iran's President, especially as he inches closer to acquiring nuclear weapons," he said. "Those who ignore his hateful words today, will bear responsibility for his deeds tomorrow."
Israel views a nuclear-armed Iran as an existential threat, but Iran insists its nuclear program is purely peaceful and aimed solely at producing nuclear energy. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu believes Tehran is moving closer to producing a nuclear weapon and has been pushing the United States to set "red lines" which, if crossed, might lead to American military action. President Barack Obama has refused to set any "red lines."