The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan:
The Secretary-General has read with dismay the remarks about Israel attributed to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, President of Iran.
He reminds all Member States that Israel is a long-standing Member of the United Nations with the same rights and obligations as every other Member. He recalls in particular that, under the United Nations Charter, all Members have undertaken to refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any State.
The Secretary-General had already decided to visit Iran during the next few weeks, to discuss other issues. He now intends to place the Middle East peace process, and the right of all States in the area to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force, at the top of his agenda for that visit.