Netanyahu warns 'odious regime' is greatest threat to humanity

A week before crucial nuclear talks with Iran, Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu yesterday delivered a blistering tirade against the country, hinting anew that if negotiations failed to halt the regime's suspected weapons programme, Israel might take matters into its own hands.

In his speech to the UN General Assembly, the Israeli leader used the claim by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that the Holocaust never happened to argue that Iran was the incarnation of the greatest threat facing humanity, representing the "marriage of Islamic fanaticism and weapons of mass destruction". As he opened his address, Mr Netanyahu brandished the protocol of the 1942 Wannsee conference in Berlin at which the Nazis finalised their plans to exterminate European Jewry, as well as a copy of the original plan for the Auschwitz/Birkenau death camp.

"Are these documents lies?" he asked. "Perhaps you think this man's odious regime threatens only the Jews, but how wrong that would be. History shows that what starts as an attack on the Jews ends up by engulfing many others."

The Iranian delegation was conspicuously absent when Mr Netanyahu spoke, just as Israel's had been for Mr Ahmadinejad's address. He castigated those who had stayed to listen. "What a disgrace, what a mockery of the charter of the UN," Mr Netanyahu said of those who had listened to a man who had said the Holocaust was a lie.

In policy terms, Mr Netanyahu broke little ground on Iran or on the deadlocked peace talks with the Palestinians. In an address intended as much for domestic consumption as for the General Assembly, he did not mention the vexed settlements issue.

But his uncompromising language about the threat posed by Iran underlines the importance of the 1 October talks between a senior Iranian negotiator and representatives of the US, China, Russia and the EU trio of France, Britain and Germany.

This week, Hillary Clinton, the US Secretary of State, as well as David Miliband, the Foreign Secretary, have warned Iran that these discussions will present it with a choice: serious moves to halt its uranium enrichment programme, or the prospect of much tougher sanctions from the UN.

Both sides are dug into their positions but some potentially new elements emerged this week. Russia, a Security Council member, has indicated it is ready to countenance stronger sanctions against Tehran but China still seems unenthused by the idea.

Mr Ahmadinejad, in an interview with The Washington Post, suggested that Iran may allow its nuclear experts to be questioned by Western scientists – an offer that if taken up might allay suspicions about the nature of its nuclear programme. Tehran also wants to buy enriched uranium from the US for what the Iranian President insists are medical purposes.

This uranium would fuel a reactor supplied to Iran by Washington during the Shah's regime. The request could put the US on the spot. If the administration refuses, the Iranians would insist that they have no choice but to enrich their own uranium, ostensibly for humanitarian purposes.

In his speech to the assembly, Mr Ahmadinejad was as uncompromising as Mr Netanyahu. He dismissed suggestions that he had stolen the country's election earlier this year – the ballot, he said, had been "glorious and fully democratic". He also delivered an oblique tirade against the Jews, condemning the "private networks" that he said largely ran the world.

News
peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
News
news
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
life
New Articles
i100... with this review
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Voices
Holly's review of Peterborough's Pizza Express quickly went viral on social media
Sport
footballTim Sherwood: This might be th match to wake up Manchester City
Arts and Entertainment
musicHow female vocalists are now writing their own hits
New Articles
i100
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
musicBiographer Hunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original manuscripts
News
Blahnik says: 'I think I understand the English more than they do themselves'
people
Arts and Entertainment
Michelle Dockery as Lady Mary Crawley in Downton Abbey
TVInside Downton Abbey series 5
Life and Style
The term 'normcore' was given the oxygen of publicity by New York magazine during the autumn/winter shows in Paris in February
fashionWhen is a trend a non-trend? When it's Normcore, since you ask
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Marketing Manager - Leicestershire - £35,000

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (CIM, B2B, MS Offi...

Marketing Executive (B2B and B2C) - Rugby, Warwickshire

£22000 - £25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly successful organisation wit...

SEN Coordinator + Teacher (SENCO)

£1 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Job Purpose To work closely with the he...

Research Manager - Quantitative/Qualitative

£32000 - £42000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is curr...

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam