Livni: Iran poses greatest threat to world's values

Shlomo Shamir

Haaretz

SEptember 24, 2006

NEW YORK - Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni warned in her address to the UN General Assembly yesterday that Iranian leaders pose the biggest threat to international values.

"There is no greater challenge to our values than that posed by the leaders of Iran," Livni said. "They deny and mock the Holocaust. They speak proudly and openly of their desire to wipe Israel off the map. And now, by their actions, they pursue the weapons to achieve this objective, to imperil the region and to threaten the world."

Livni added that Iran's support for Hezbollah in south Lebanon demonstrated the threat it poses to the region, and said that the world must ensure that Security Council Resolution 1701 is enforced.

She struck a more conciliatory tone toward the Palestinians, saying that Israel has no desire to rule over them and bilateral negotiations. is the only way to resolve the conflict is Senior political sources in New York said yesterday that the U.S. administration and Israel are "fully coordinated at all levels" over policy toward the Palestinian Authority.

The comment was in response to the statement issued Wednesday in New York by representatives of the United States, United Nations, European Union and Russia - the so-called Quartet - welcoming the efforts of PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas to form a unity government, "in the hope that the platform of such a government would reflect Quartet principles."

Diplomats in New York interpreted the statement as a sign of erosion in U.S. opposition to Hamas being part of a Palestinian government.

Israeli sources, however, said yesterday that the statement effectively demanded that Abbas form a government that accepts the Quartet's previously stated principles: recognizing Israel, renouncing violence and accepting Israeli-Palestinian agreements.

"Israel's position does not differ from that of the international community, which holds that a prerequisite for any talks with the PA government is acceptance of the three conditions that would enable implementation of the road map," a political source told Haaretz yesterday.

The sources also said that the Security Council session that was scheduled to discuss a new Arab League peace initiative last night would not go beyond speeches and statements. The U.S. reportedly conditioned its participation in the session upon advance agreement that the council president would not issue a presidential statement, or even a press release.

The meeting was expected to be attended by the foreign ministers of all five permanent Security Council members. It was unclear at press time whether Livni would attend.