Ahmadinejad, Mansour: Israel is major source of terror

On sidelines of Tehran terrorism conference, Iranian president, Lebanese FM discuss Israel's "threat to region," and Lebanon's new gov't.

June 26, 2011 11:42
1 minute read.
Iran President Ahmadinejad and Lebanese FM Mansour

Ahmadinejad and Mansour 311. (photo credit: Press TV)

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad met privately with Lebanese Foreign Minister Adnan Monsour on the sidelines of Tehran's "International Conference for the Global Fight against Terrorism" on Saturday, Iran's PressTV reported.

During Ahmadinejad and Mansour's meeting, the two discussed the idea that Israel "remains the main threat and a major source of terror and instability in the region," according to PressTV.

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The two officials also discussed the challenges confronting the new Lebanese cabinet formed by Prime Minister Najib Mikati in early June.

Ahmadinejad said he instructed Iranian ministers to hold more meetings with their Lebanese counterparts in efforts to explore ways to expand bilateral relations.

Speaking at the two-day terrorism conference on Saturday, Ahmadinejad was quoted as saying by the semi-official ISNA news agency, that "The attacks of September 11, 2001 are questionable and the United States is benefiting from them as it did from the Holocaust."

Ahmadinejad said the US sent troops to the Middle East following 9/11 "to save its economy and Zionist regime," he said. "It claimed lives of numerous people and refused to permit anyone to know about 9/11 incident as it did not allow inquiries into the Holocaust."

Also Saturday, UN watchdog organization UN Watch sent a letter to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon asking him to retract his apparent support for the Iranian terrorism conference.

Hillel Neuer, the organization's director, quoted in the letter Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei's statements during the conference attacking the US, Britain, and Israel and wrote to Ban: "We call upon you to distance yourself and the United Nations from a cynical conference now underway in Iran which claims to have your blessing."

According to a Mehr News Agency report cited by Neuer, in a message sent to the Tehran conference, Ban thanked Iran for organizing the gathering and said that all countries around the world have the responsibility to combat terrorism.

The two-day conference was expected to conclude Sunday.

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