Saturday, December 17, 2005

Russia blasts Iranian president

In its strongest statement yet against the Iranian president and others' comments denying The Holocaust and other anti-Jewish statements, Russia left no doubt about its public position.
"Following statements by President Ahmadinejad and other Iranian officials on Holocaust and Israel ... we view attempts to review well known historical facts of the Second World War, including those connected with the Holocaust, as unacceptable," Russia's foreign ministry said in a statement.

"Speculation on these issues contradicts the United Nations Charter and views of the international community," it added.

Russian officials also warned of possible consequences for Iran.

Ahmadinejad's remarks could drive Iran into international isolation, said Mikhail Marguelov, head of the international affairs committee of Russia's upper house of parliament, the Federation Council.

"The Iranian president's xenophobia discredits the co-sponsors of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, including Russia," Marguelov told the Ekho Moskvy radio station Thursday.

"There is a feeling that Iran has taken upon itself the mission of stirring up the Middle East conflict and doing services to all sorts of extremists, and it may lead to the international isolation of Iran," Marguelov said.

Isolation would damage the interests of the Iranian people and hamper the country's economic development "in which Russian firms are actively involved," he added.
Russia's strongest statement prior to this one, concerning the Iranian proposal to move Israel to Europe, was by a relatively low level diplomat who said, "The proposal is unacceptable."

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