In his much-anticipated address before the UN General Assembly in New York on Wednesday, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called for a new world order that does not operate in service to "the devil," which he rather clearly identified as the "Zionist entity."
After complaining about escalating Western sanctions against Iran over its defiant nuclear program, Ahmadinejad insisted that "there is no doubt that the world is in need of a new order...a just and fair order."
Ahmadinejad said that all the current and past troubles in the world are "due mainly to wrong management...[by] the self-proclaimed centers of power who have entrusted themselves to the devil."
He went on to state that the "continued threat by the uncivilized Zionists to resort to military action against our great nation is a clear example of this bitter reality."
Earlier in the week, Ahmadinejad told reporters at the UN that Israel has no roots in the Middle East and will soon be "eliminated."
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who was scheduled to himself address the UN General Assembly on Thursday, promised a firm response to the Iranian leader.
Netanyahu departed Israel for New York just hours after the close of Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, the holiest day on the Jewish calendar. Before leaving, the prime minister published a letter to the people of Israel, reading:
On the day that we pray to be inscribed in the Book of Life, the podium was given to the dictatorial regime in Iran that takes every opportunity to sentence us to death.
On the eve of Yom Kippur, a day that the Jewish people holds sacred, the Iranian dictator chose to call for our disappearance in public, with the entire world watching. This is a black day for those who chose to remain in the hall and hear these hateful words. In my speech before the representatives of nations at the UN General Assembly, they will hear our response.
As the prime minister of Israel, the state of the Jewish people, I am acting in every possible way so that Iran does not obtain nuclear weapons. History proves that whoever wanted to erase us from the map – failed in his mission, while the Jewish nation overcame all obstacles.
Meanwhile, a pre-Yom Kippur survey carried out by Israeli polling company Dialogue showed that 56 percent of Israelis believe there is a moderate-to-high chance of war with Iran in the coming year. Fifty percent of respondents fear for Israel's survival in the event of war.