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Ahmadinejad, 'big liar'
Photo: AFP
Photo: Dudi Vaaknin
Peres. Feeling ashamed
Photo: Dudi Vaaknin
Peres slams Columbia for hosting Ahmadinejad
President says prestigious New York university gave stage to 'world's biggest lying leader'. Meanwhile, Iranian officials say 'enemies don’t have ability to attack', mock Israel's alleged flight over Syria

President Shimon Peres on Tuesday harshly criticized Columbia University for hosting Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and giving a stage to "the world's biggest lying leader".

 

Peres told reporters he felt "ashamed" due to Ahmadinejad's appearance.

 

"I am all for the freedom of expression, but what happened there is giving a stage to lies that harm the world. After all, there is no one that doesn't know that Iran is building an atomic bomb and is a hotbed for global terror, out of the aspiration to impose radical-religious hegemony over the entire world."

 

Commenting on the words of the prestigious New York university's president, who said he even would have invited Hitler to speak at his university, Peres said, "Even Chamberlain and Hitler met for diplomatic talks, and behind the pretty words stood genocide and the biggest atrocities known to mankind.

 

"Columbia University has enabled a false stage and not an academic one, and with its approval, a miserable act took place," the president added.

 

"All the countries of the free world must unite against Ahmadinejad. Remember that dictatorship goes hand in hand with lies, murder, and terror, just as is happening in Iran at the hands of the greatest and most dangerous radical leader," Peres said.

 

'Iran confident of ability to respond to any threat' 

Earlier Tuesday, Iranian military chief of staff General Atallah Salhi commented on the possibility that Iran could be facing a surprise attack, saying, "The enemies do not have the ability to attack Iran."

 

In an interview to Iranian news agency Fars, Salhi said, "In any place where the need arises, we will demonstrate our operational abilities, in order to make it clear to those who claim that Iran is weak, how comprehensive and powerful our reaction to any attack will be."

 

Salhi also commented on the alleged Israeli violation of Syrian airspace some two weeks ago, saying, "They are trying to show the Israeli society and others that they have the ability to carry out showcases and evasive flights, after experiencing a shameful defeat in the war with Hizbullah."

 

Major-General Mohammad Ali Jafari, head of Iran's Revolutionary Guards, said in a television interview Tuesday that the Second Lebanon War helped Iran "locate the enemy's weak point".

 

Jafari added that Iran was confident of its ability to give a harsh response to any threat using its long-range missiles.

 

Dudi Cohen contributed to this report

 

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