UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Israel is urging the UN Security Council and the international community to quickly condemn Iran's calls for the destruction of the Jewish state.
In identical letters to the council and Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon circulated yesterday, Israel's charge d'affaires Israel Nitzan said the recent "delusional statements of Iran's leaders are not those of crazy people, but rational fanatics, with irrational hatreds."
He pointed to statements by Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and the head of the Revolutionary Guard's air force, General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, all threatening Israel's existence.
Israel considers Iran an existential threat because it is convinced that Iran is trying to build nuclear weapons. Iran denies seeking atomic weapons, saying its uranium enrichment is for peaceful purposes only.
Israel's leaders have indicated an attack on Iran's nuclear facilities is a possibility if they conclude that the international community has failed to halt its nuclear program.
Gen. Hajizadeh was quoted by the Iranian news agency IRNA on Saturday as saying a possible Israeli attack is "welcome" because it would give Iran a reason to retaliate and "get rid of" the Jewish state "forever." Ahmadinejad told worshippers on Friday that Israel's existence is an "insult to all humanity" and called for the country to be wiped out. Khamenei has called Israel a "cancerous tumor" and in his latest pronouncement on Wednesday said Israel will disappear from "the scene of geography."
Tensions between Iran and Israel have intensified since 2005, when Ahmadinejad said in a speech that Israel will one day be "wiped off the map." The Iranian president has also described the Holocaust, when 6 million Jews were killed by German Nazis and their collaborators during World War II, as a "myth."
Israel's Nitzan told the Security Council that "silence is not an option" in the face of the latest Iranian threats.
"We expect the Security Council and all responsible members of the international community to condemn Iranian hate speech without further delay," he said.
"One can only imagine what such an extremist regime would do if it got its hands on the world's most dangerous weapons," Nitzan said.