Netanyahu urges Ban not to attend Iran summit

Jerusalem -

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urged UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon Friday not to attend a Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) meeting in Tehran at the end of the month, saying his presence there would be a “huge mistake.”

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks at the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem. Credit: REUTERS

“Even if it is not your intention, your visit will grant legitimacy to a regime that is the greatest threat to world peace and security,” a statement from Netanyahu's office said.

According to the statement, Netanyahu reminded Ban of recent anti-Semitic utterances by senior Iranian officials, and calls for the destruction of Israel.

Netanyahu said Iran was continuing its suspected nuclear weapons programme, despite UN Security Council resolutions, despite sanctions, and for Ban to attend the NAM talks would stain both him and the United Nations.

Iran rejects Western allegations it is seeking to build a nuclear weapon and insists that its nuclear programme is solely for peaceful purposes. - Sapa-dpa