03 May 2010
The World Jewish Congress (WJC) and several other American Jewish organizations have called on United Nations representatives to walk out on Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad when he addresses a UN conference on the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) in New York on Monday. WJC President Ronald S. Lauder said in a statement: “The United Nations cannot continue to countenance the appearance and participation of an abusive regime bent on the acquisition of nuclear capability. The intentions of its use by Iran have been clearly enunciated time and again by its president, a denier of the Holocaust who repeatedly threatens the United States and Europe, and who continuously issues menacing threats to wipe Israel off the map. A country that supports terrorist activity worldwide and intimidates its own people with egregious human rights violations should not be given a platform by the organization that is the repository of international human rights.”
“We urge all UN delegates to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference to once again demonstrate their outrage and protest the hypocrisy of Ahmedinejad’s presence by leaving the hall for his address. We call on all World Jewish Congress member communities to urgently contact their governments to instruct their UN representatives to walk out during Ahmedinejad’s speech,” the WJC president declared.
The 189 signatories to the NPT gather every five years to discuss compliance and strengthening the treaty, which aims to halt the spread of nuclear weapons.
Ahmadinejad is the only head of state to attend the UN gathering in New York. Last year, many delegates walked out on him as he addressed the UN General Assembly. He also triggered a walk-out at the UN Durban Review Conference in Geneva in April 2009, when he called Israel “the most aggressive and racist country.”
In a statement, the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations said the Iranian president’s planned speech made “a mockery of the efforts of many countries to prevent nuclear weapons and nuclear terrorism from becoming the gravest global threats of this century.”
Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned Ahmadinejad that he would not get a warm welcome at UN non-proliferation talks in New York if he seeks to sow confusion about Iran's nuclear program. Clinton told a news conference: "The mission of those of us going to New York to review, revise and reinvigorate the NPT regime is very clear. If that's not his mission, then it won't be a particularly useful or productive trip on his part," she said. She said she did not know why Ahmadinejad wanted to come to the conference, saying that Iran's record of violating the NPT was "absolutely indisputable."
At a speech to the American Jewish Committee, Clinton said that “Iran, with its anti-Semitic president and hostile nuclear ambitions, also continues to threaten Israel, destabilize the region, and sponsor terror.”
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