At U.N., Iranian's Speech Draws Angry Words From Netanyahu

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By Colum Lynch
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, September 25, 2009

UNITED NATIONS, Sept. 24 -- Brandishing Nazi orders for the extermination of Jews, Israel's prime minister blasted Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Thursday for continuing to deny that the Holocaust occurred, and he rebuked U.N. delegates who had listened politely to the Iranian leader's speech on Wednesday, demanding, "Have you no shame?"

"Here's a copy of the minutes of the meeting of senior Nazi officials instructing the Nazi government exactly how to carry out the extermination of the Jewish people," Binyamin Netanyahu said in a General Assembly speech that questioned the morality of engaging the Iranian leader. "Is this protocol a lie?"

Ahmadinejad accused Israel on Wednesday of manipulating the U.S. and European governments in the pursuit of "racist ambitions." The remark prompted walkouts by the United States and other European and Latin American delegations.

But the Iranian leader also signaled during an interview earlier in the day with The Washington Post and Newsweek that he is willing to step up nuclear cooperation, including allowing Iranian nuclear experts to meet with U.S. and other Western scientists.

Netanyahu appealed to the U.N. delegates to stand up to Iran, saying that its government could not be trusted and that its nuclear program posed the greatest threat to democratic governments.

"Will the international community stop the terrorist regime of Iran from developing atomic weapons?" he said. "Well, ladies and gentlemen, the jury is still out on the U.N., and recent signs are not encouraging."

Also Thursday, Venezuelan President Hugo Ch?vez told the General Assembly how moved he was by President Obama's assertion that no country should dominate another, but he expressed frustration that the new U.S. leader has not acted on that view more firmly.

"Well, what are you waiting for? Lift the savage, murderous embargo" on Cuba, he said. "Are there two Obamas? I would like to believe the Obama I listened to yesterday."

Speaking at the United Nations three years ago, Ch?vez called President George W. Bush a racist, imperialist devil who smelled of sulfur.

"It doesn't smell of sulfur here anymore. It smells of hope," he said Thursday. "Obama, come over to the socialist side! Join the axis of evil, and we'll build an economy at the service of the people."

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