By Stewart Stogel
© 2010 WorldNetDaily
UNITED NATIONS – United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today left a session on nuclear weapons as Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadabad prepared to address the world body.
Ban later was joined by the United States delegation and representatives of Britain and France.
Shortly after the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty review conference began at U.N. headquarters this morning, Ban addressed the assembled delegates and asked Israel, which was not in attendance, to begin the process to ratify and accept the provisions that prohibit the development and acquisition of nuclear arms.
Jerusalem has never admitted nor denied that it may have such arms. It has, however, publicly committed to never being the first to introduce such weapons into the region.
Ban then turned his attention to Iran and its on-going standoff with the U.N. Security Council.
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The secretary-general asked Iran to comply with the council's demands and suspend its nuclear research program.
Iran's president sat stonefaced in the Iranian U.N. seat, staring repeatedly at Ban.
Minutes later, after hearing a status report from the director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, the U.N.'s watchdog, Ban rose from his seat, waved to the delegates and left the general assembly.
It was announced that he "had to leave to attend to pressing matters."
Minutes later, a visibly irritated Ahmadinejad dispensed with the normal diplomatic "formalities" and told the general assembly that "Iran has accepted the demands of the U.N. and so the ball is in the court of those seeking sanctions."
The Iranian president insisted that the U.S. "is the biggest producer and owner of nuclear weapons." He also asserted Iran is one of the few nations threatened with nuclear action by Washington.
Just moments before the Ahamdinejad verbal attack, the lone U.S. delegate in attendance left the general assembly hall.
The delegates sat in silence.
According to Reuters, Ahmadinijad then used his appearance in New York to demand punishment for nations that "threaten" the use of atomic weapons.
The meeting is for the 189 signatories of the 1970 nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
Ahmadinjad said just the discussion about using a nuclear weapon is, in itself, "a breach of international peace and security."
The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty's Review Symposium, scheduled once every five years, is designed to assess progress in the field of nuclear disarmament.
Iran, embroiled in a battle with the U.N. Security Council over its nuclear "research" program, is facing a possible third round of sanctions for its refusal to heed council demands to freeze its nuclear activities.
Former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton thinks the gathering is pointless.
"The idea that Iran's violation of the NPT could frustrate the entire conference shows just how unworldly this four-week extravaganza will be," Bolton said.
Sen. John F. Kerry, D-Mass., chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, believes the U.N. gathering could drive home some important messages to the Iranian leadership.
Kerry's spokesman, Frederick Jones, said, "This is a chance for the world to show Iran's leaders a world increasingly united against their reckless behavior."
Earlier this week, Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, sent a letter endorsed by more than 12 other senators to the State Department roundly criticizing the Obama administration for granting the Iranian leader a visa to visit the U.S.