United Nations / 31-08-2012
UN Secretary-General attacks Holocaust denial while in Iran
Without naming Iran directly, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon denounces his hosts at the Non-Aligned Movement summit in Tehran for threatening to destroy Israel and for denying the Holocaust.
As heads of states and delegates from the 120 members of the Non-aligned Movement looked on, Mr Ban denounced Iran for its "outrageous" comments denying the Holocaust and Israel's right to exist.
"I strongly reject any threat by any [UN] member state to destroy another, or outrageous comments to deny historical facts such as the Holocaust," he said.
"Claiming another UN member state does not have the right to exist or describe it in racist terms is not only utterly wrong but undermines the very principles we have all promised to uphold."
The secretary general had been heavily criticised by Israel and some in the United States for attending the summit, amid fears that it would hand Iran a propaganda coup.
But the unexpected vehemence of Mr Ban's comments undermined Iran's quest for global prestige and its efforts to show that it was not isolated.