Israeli Envoy Walks Out of Ahmadinejad's Address to UN General Assembly

Ron Prosor, top legal aide, leaves hall without hearing Iranian leader's address; Ahmadinejad: Tehran's nuclear program is peaceful, Iran does not support Assad's regime.

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Barak Ravid
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ברק רביד - צרובה
Barak Ravid

Israel's envoy to the United Nations Ron Prosor walked out of a gathering of the General Assembly during a speech by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Monday.

Speaking to reporters following his exit, Prosor, who left the session along with the Israeli delegation's legal advisor Adi Sheinman, told reporters that a"leader of a lawbreaking nation that repeatedly violates the basic principles of the rule of law does not have a place in this hall."

"It's an absolute disgrace that a person like him is allowed to express himself on such an important issue. To allow Ahmadinejad to speak at the UN about the rule of law is like appointing a pyromaniac to be a fire chief," the Israeli envoy added.

Prosor, who was quick to leave the hall, did not hear any part of Ahmadinejad address, during which the Iranian leader defended his country's nuclear program, saying it was meant for civilian use only.

"It's still not too late for a dialogue with the United States concerning the nuclear program [geared at] resolving differences," the Iranian president said, adding that Tehran held a neutral stance in regards to the Syria civil war and that it didn't aid the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad with arms or training.

Prior to speaking at the UN, Ahmadinejad told reporters in New York that Israel had "no roots" in the history of the Middle East, adding that Iran did not take Israeli threats to strike its nuclear facilities seriously.

Ahmadinejad said Iran has been around for thousands of years, but Israel has existed for only 60 or 70 years. He said that for a certain "historical phase" Israel represents a disturbance for Iran and "they are then eliminated."

"They (Israel) have no roots there in history," Ahmadinejad told reporters in New York, where he is due to attend the UN General Assembly. "They do not even enter the equation for Iran."

Earlier in the day, Ahmadinejad told the Washington Post that Iran did not take seriously Israeli threats of an attack on its nuclear facilities, adding that he believed that the Americans are "peace-loving people."

“We, generally speaking, do not take very seriously the issue of the Zionists and the possible dangers emanating from them,” he told columnist David Ignatius early in the interview. “Of course, they would love to find a way for their own salvation by making a lot of noise and to raise stakes in order to save themselves. But I do not believe they will succeed. Iran is also a very well-recognized country and her defensive powers are very clear.”

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad addressing diplomats during the high-level meeting of the General Assembly on the Rule of Law at the United Nations headquarters in New York September 24, 2012. Credit: Reuters



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