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Ban Warns Ahmadinejad Over Fiery Rhetoric

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warns Iran of the "potentially harmful consequences" from fiery rhetoric.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has warned Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad of the dangers of "inflammatory rhetoric."

"The secretary-general drew attention to the potentially harmful consequences of inflammatory rhetoric, counter-rhetoric, and threats from various countries in the Middle East," Ban's press office said in a statement.

Ban met Ahmadinejad September 23 in New York ahead of this week's annual gathering of world leaders at the UN General Assembly.

Ban's warning comes after Amir Ali Hajizadeh, a brigadier general in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, was quoted as saying that Iran could launch a preemptive strike on Israel if it was sure the Jewish state was preparing to attack it.

Ban also told Ahmadinejad that Iran should do all it can to ensure the international community its nuclear program is solely for peaceful purposes.

Iran denies Western charges it is secretly developing nuclear weapons.

The two also discussed Syria.

"The secretary-general stressed the grave regional implications of the worsening situation in Syria and underlined the devastating humanitarian impact," the statement said.

Earlier this month, the top commander of Iran's Revolutionary Guard said the elite group was providing advisers but not weapons to the Syrian regime.

Based on Reuters and AFP reporting