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gillerman 224.88.(Photo by: AP [file])
Ban: 'Teheran's comments are unforgivable'
Michal Lando, Jerusalem Post correspondent in New York
02/21/2008
Ahmadinejad calls Israel "filthy bacteria"; Gillerman: "Nazi-like statements."
Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Dan Gillerman met with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon on Wednesday to express "outrage" over recent statements by Iranian officials calling for the destruction of Israel. Ban agreed to meet on very short notice and said such statements were "unacceptable and unforgivable," according to Gillerman, who also stressed the need for a "quick and strong" resolution to prevent Iran from pursuing its nuclear ambitions. In the hour-long conversation, Gillerman said it was "outrageous for a member state to use racist, Nazi-like statements against another member state." In yet another verbal attack against Israel Wednesday, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called the Jewish state a "filthy bacteria" whose sole purpose was to oppress the other nations of the region. "The world powers established this filthy bacteria, the Zionist regime, which is lashing out at the nations in the region like a wild beast," the Iranian president told supporters at a rally in southern Iran. Referring to last week's assassination of Hizbullah terror chief Imad Mughniyeh, the Iranian leader said that Israel "uses terror as a threat every day, and afterwards is happy and joyful." Ahmadinejad's remarks followed similar statements last week by Gen. Muhammad Ali Jafari, commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps, who wrote in a letter to Hizbullah head Hassan Nasrallah that he was convinced "that Hizbullah's might is increasing with every passing day, and that in the near future, we will witness the disappearance of this cancerous growth called Israel." Following a letter sent Tuesday to the president of the Security Council by the Israeli Mission to protest threats by the Iranian officials against another member state, Gillerman asked to meet with the UN chief to personally express his outrage. Gillerman also used the opportunity to express "grave concern" about the situation in southern Lebanon, where there is a continued flow of arms to Hizbullah, and over the fact that kidnapped soldiers Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev are still being held without any sign of life. Additionally, Gillerman discussed the incessant rocket attacks on Sderot and the "fear and plight of the people." Several rockets fell in the area on Wednesday, but caused no casualties or damage. While Ban expressed concern over the humanitarian situation in Gaza, Gillerman said a distinction had to be made between a country defending itself and Palestinian attacks on civilians. Gillerman spoke privately with Ban for 10 minutes of the conversation, but did not specify what was said.
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