Threats made by Israeli officials to strike Iran's nuclear facilities represent a violation of the United Nations charter, Iran's deputy UN envoy wrote in a letter to the Security Council's president this week, adding that while Iran had no intention to attack, it would not hesitate to defend itself.
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The letter, quoted by Iran's state-run television station Press TV, came ahead of a conference of the Non-Aligned Movement due to take place in Tehran, and amid a recent series of bellicose comments by both Israeli and Iranian officials.
On Wednesday, UN diplomats said that UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon plans to attend next week's summit, with one diplomatic source saying that the NAM represented "a very important bloc of nations," adding: "Of course the SG (secretary-general) is going. He can't not go." Ban's spokesman declined to comment.
Israel has been attempting to persuade Ban to cancel his plan to attend the meet, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arguing he saw no reason to visit a country whose government is anti-Semitic and openly declares its intention to destroy Israel.
He noted recent statements by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad about "annihilating the Zionist entity," as well as similar statements by his vice president at a recent UN conference.
On Thursday, Press TV quoted a letter sent by Iran's deputy UN envoy Es’haq Ale-Habib to the current UNSC President Gerard Araud of France, in which he criticized comments by Israeli leaders regarding the possibility of a strike against Iran's nuclear program.
“The officials of the Zionist regime have threatened to use force against the Islamic Republic of Iran based on false assumptions and unjustifiably regard as immediate an attack on our country’s nuclear facilities,” the Iranian official said.
These remarks, Ale-Habib added, "are a blatant violation of the fundamental principles of the UN Charter and international regulations and are against global efforts aimed at promoting peace and security."
According to the Press TV report, the Iranian official said that Tehran did not intend to attack any other nation, but that it would not hesitate to defend itself from any attack and will “adopt proper defensive measures to protect itself.”
Responding to comments in Israel regarding the passivity of military actions against Iran, a senior Iranian official said earlier this week an Israeli attack on Iran will lead to Israel's "annihilation."
The comment, by former head of Iran's Revolutionary Guard Mohsen Rezaei, came after, last week, the head of the Revolutionary Guard's air force said that a possible Israeli airstrike against his country's nuclear facilities is "welcome" because it would give Iran a reason to retaliate and "get rid of" the Jewish state "forever."