Australia and New Zealand walk out

May 4, 2010 by Henry Benjamin
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The Australian and New Zealand delegations at the United Nations has walked out of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty Conference following a series of wild accusations made by Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Ahmadinejad at the U.N. Photo: AAP

A spokesperson for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade told J-Wire: “Australia strongly condemns the egregious and anti-Semitic comments by the
Iranian President in his address to the NPT Review Conference.  Australia expressed condemnation of President Ahmadinejad’s remarks on 3 May by leaving the chamber, as did a number of other countries.  The Government has consistently and strongly condemned previous such statements by
President Ahmadinejad.”

The United States has responded by reiterating its support for Israel’s security with White House spokesman Robert Gibbs telling media that President Obama spent 20 minutes on the telephone reassuring Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netenyahu that he has an “unshakeable” commitment to Israel’s security.

Ahmadinejad attacked the US stating “those who carried out the first atomic explosion area among the most hated in the history.”

Other countries who left the meeting were Britain, the United States, France and Germany. The walk-out occurred when the Iranian leader said that Israel threatened its neighbours with “terror and invasion”, enjoying unconditional support from the U.S. and its allies.

A spokesman for the Executive Council of Australian Jewry said: “In typical demagogic fashion, Ahmadinejad accuses other countries of all the sins of which his own regime is guilty.  It is Iran which has consistently threatened and destabilised other countries in the region, supported major terrorist networks and violated international law with regard to its nuclear program.   Ahmadinejad’s latest rant highlights the UN’s crisis of credibility.  It not only gives a platform to this advocate of genocide, but has also just made the Islamic Republic of Iran a member of the U.N. Commission on the Status of Women—a body dedicated to ‘gender equality and the advancement of women’. This is the regime that murdered Neda Agha Soltan for daring to engage in a peaceful political protest, which severely beats women for not covering their bodies, discriminates against them socially, politically and legally and stones them to death for alleged adultery.”

The Australia/Israel and Jewish Affairs Council’s Executive Director, Colin Rubinstein, added: “The decision by the US, Britain and France to walk out of the conference hall during Iranian President Ahmadinejad’s deranged speech can only be applauded.

However, what is really needed is a crippling sanctions regime to force Iran to abandon its nuclear weapons program.This will achieve more to halt the spread of nuclear weapons than another UN talk-fest that places dictatorships and democracies on an equal footing.

When the UN Security Council holdouts like Russia and China decide to become serious in stopping Iran’s ambition to cross the nuclear weapons threshold, then the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference will achieve something of lasting value.”

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