United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon condemned Iran's repeated statements calling for Israel's annihilation and its Holocaust denial in remarks made in Tehran Thursday.
Ban addressed the 120-nation "Non-Aligned Movement" summit hosted by Iran. The regime had hoped the event would portray the Islamic Republic as a respected player internationally, despite global economic sanctions and diplomatic isolation aimed at curbing Iran's nuclear weapons program.
That didn't go as planned.
"I strongly reject threats by any member state to destroy another, or outrageous attempts to deny historical facts such as the Holocaust," Ban said. "Claiming that Israel does not have the right to exist or describing it in racist terms is not only wrong but undermines the very principle we all have pledged to uphold."
Ahmadinejad has made a series of statements predicting the day Israel is wiped off the map. The most recent came earlier this month on "Quds Day," an annual event created by the Ayatollah Khomeini to protest Israel's existence.
Ahmadinejad called Israel "a cancerous tumor" and vowed that "The nations of the region will soon finish off the usurper Zionists in the Palestinian land."
Iran's English-language news outlet, Press TV, published a column dismissing Ban as "a servile puppet of American imperialism."
The second speaker to contradict Iranian policy was a surprise. Egypt's newly elected President Mohamed Morsi blasted Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime as "oppressive" and endorsed the opposition seeking Assad's ouster. Assad is considered a key ally for Tehran and Iran has supported Syria's brutal slaughter of opposition forces with arms and even its elite troops.
"The Syrian and Palestinian people seek freedom, respect and human justice," Morsi said. He also countered Iran's effort to claim credit for the "Arab Spring" saying the "Egyptian revolution was the cornerstone of the Arab Spring, days after the upheaval in Tunisia, and then in Yemen, Libya, and now against the oppressive Syria regime."
Ban echoed the criticism, saying "Those who provide the arms to either side in Syria are contributing to the misery. Further militarization is not the answer."
Iranian officials had praised Morsi's election and expressed hope for better relations with Egypt.