Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
spoke with United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon
on Friday and expressed his "disappointment" with the latter's intention to attend the Non-Aligned Movement's conference in Tehran later this month.
"Mr. Secretary-General, your place is not in Tehran," Netanyahu told Ban, branding the upcoming trip as a great mistake. He emphasized that he doesn't see any reason for Ban to visit a country whose regime is anti-Semitic and seeks Israel's
According to the Prime Minister's Office, Netanyahu was let down by Ban's deicion to travel to Iran,
especially given the latter's fair manner of conduct over the period of his tenure as the chief of the UN.
He stressed that the visit would grant legitimacy to a regime that constitutes the greatest threat to world peace – even if this isn't Ban's intention.
During the conversation, the prime minister mentioned that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
has recently called on all peace loving countries in the world to unite in order to destroy the "Zionist entity." He also brought up the Iranian leader's address of the UN General Assembly last September – a speech during which he blamed Zionism for perpetrating slavery, global drug trade and the Bolshevik revolution.
Netanyahu accused Tehran of being responsible for a global terror movement, claiming that the bombing that killed Israelis in Burgas,
Bulgaria last month was carried out by Hezbollah, a group he said is manipulated by the Islamic Republic.
Finally, he slammed Iran for continuing its efforts to develop nuclear weapons despite diplomatic efforts and sanctions imposed by the international community.
Rewarding Iran for its impudence would tarnish both Ban's image and the image of the organization that he is heading, Netanyahu said.