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(photo credit: Defense Ministry )
The Iranian ambassador to the UN complained that the UN Security Council has done nothing to stop Israel's "unlawful and dangerous threats" against Iran, in a letter to the secretary-general circulated Monday.
Javad Zarif protested a recent statement from Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz that Israel has not ruled out military action against Iran to disable its nuclear program. He also referred to a similar statement that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert made in April.
"I wish to inform you that, emboldened by the absence of any action by the Security Council, various Israeli officials have unabatedly continued to publicly and contemptuously make unlawful and dangerous threats of resorting to force against the Islamic Republic of Iran," Zarif said in the letter, dated June 11. He also sent a copy to the president of the Security Council.
Zarif faulted the council for not condemning the statements and for "pushing for statements against Iran based on various distortions and unsubstantiated allegations ... in a failed attempt and tired smokescreen to distract the international community's attention from the real and serious threats that the (Israeli) regime poses to international and regional peace and security."
The Security Council imposed sanctions on Iran in December for refusing to suspend uranium enrichment, and modestly increased them in March after Teheran stepped up the program, which can produce nuclear weapons. Iran responded by giving the UN nuclear watchdog less access to its nuclear facilities.
In an interview on Israel Radio on June 9, Mofaz said, "I never said there is no military option, and the military option is included in all the options that are on the table, but at this time it's right to use the path of sanctions, and to intensify them."
Israel's Deputy UN Ambassador Daniel Carmon dismissed the letter as "face-saving" and said the international community should listen carefully to comments Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has made.
"We hear the Iranian president doubting the Holocaust, denying the Holocaust, and preparing for the next one through his nuclear development," Carmon said.
"It should be condemned. It should be denounced," he added, noting that Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon had expressed dismay at Ahmadinejad's recent call for Israel's destruction. Carmon said he knew the Security Council was considering a condemnation of Ahmadinejad's comments, which failed to pass earlier this month, and urged the body to act on it.
Zarif sent another letter to Ban and the Security Council president on June 13, protesting the arrest of five Iranians by US forces in northern Iraq in January.
He called on the Security Council and Ban to help "secure the safe and immediate release of the abducted consular officers."