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(photo credit: AP)
The United Nations Security Council postponed the releases of a statement condemning Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's latest calls for the destruction of Israel late Friday night after both Indonesia and Qatar opposed the move.
Representatives of the 15 permanent member countries have requested to adopt a unanimous decision regarding Ahmadinejad's speech made on Sunday. According to the report, Qatari representatives had yet to receive permission to support the move. Indonesia, the world's largest Muslim country, had trouble with the wording of the denunciation.
France's UN Ambassador Jean-Marc de La Sabliere, who called for condemnation of the remarks attributed to Ahmadinejad, said it was unfortunate that the council could not act immediately. But he said he would try again on Monday to get all 15 council members to approve the statement.
"At stake is ... a real question of principle. When the president of a country talks about the destruction of another country, a member of the United Nations, this is a serious issue," de La Sabliere said.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon denounced earlier Friday the statement made by Ahmadinejad during which the president said, "We will witness the destruction of the corrupt occupier regime."
Earlier Friday, the Group of Eight countries said that they "will support adopting further measures" if Iran refuses to put a halt to its uranium enrichment program.
G-8 leaders said they will back UNSC moves on a third set of sanctions against Iran if Teheran fails to suspend enriching uranium, a process that can produce fuel for civilian energy or fissile material for a bomb.
"We again urge Iran to take the steps required by the international community, and made mandatory by these resolutions, to suspend all its enrichment-related and reprocessing activities, including research and development, and allow negotiations to begin," their summit communiqu said.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Ahmadinejad's recent anti-Israel comments were one reason the group adopted such a forceful resolution.
"I find that the statements of the Iranian president about Israel are fully unacceptable," she said.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy said the G-8 thought it was necessary to "send a message of firmness, certainly a toughening of sanctions."
There is a "great commonality of views between China, Russia and the United States" to "push the Iranian leaders to return to the negotiating table."
The official Islamic Republic News Agency reported Sunday that Ahmadinejad, who has repeatedly made anti-Israeli comments, referred twice to Israel's impending destruction.
IRNA quoted Ahmadinejad as saying last year's war between Israel and Hizbullah in Lebanon showed for the first time that the "hegemony of the occupier regime (Israel) had collapsed, and the Lebanese nation pushed the button to begin counting the days until the destruction of the Zionist regime."
In October 2005, the Iranian president caused outrage in the West when he said during a speech that Israel's "Zionist regime should be wiped off the map."