Last updated: 29 August, 2012

Netanyahu slams Tehran summit as a “stain on humanity”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday slammed the wide international participation at a Non-Aligned summit in Tehran as a “stain on humanity” following Iran’s denial of Israel’s right to exist.

“Today, over 120 countries are in Tehran, saluting a regime that not only denies the Holocaust but pledges to annihilate the Jewish state, brutalises its own people, colludes in the murder of thousands of innocent Syrians and leads millions in chanting ‘Death to America, death to Israel’,” he said.

“So many in the international community appear to have learned nothing. I think this is a disgrace and a stain on humanity,” Netanyahu said in a statement.

UN chief Ban Ki-moon, in Tehran for the summit of the 120-member Non-Aligned Movement that opens on Thursday, told Iranian leaders on Wednesday that their anti-Israel comments were “offensive and inflammatory,” a UN spokesman said.

Ban “strongly objected” to the remarks in talks with supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has called Israel a “cancerous tumor,” and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has doubted its right to exist, UN spokesman Martin Nesirky told reporters from Tehran.

Ban travelled to the summit despite US and Israeli criticism of his attendance, along with 36 heads of state or government who Iran says have confirmed they will take part.