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Ahmadinejad speech: International reactions

A speech at a UN conference on racism in which Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad condemned Israel has drawn sharp criticism. Here are some key quotes of reaction.

BAN KI-MOON, UN SECRETARY GENERAL

I deplore the use of this platform by the Iranian president to accuse, divide and even incite. This is the opposite of what this conference seeks to achieve.

It is deeply regrettable that my plea to look to the future of unity was not heeded by the Iranian president.

BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER

We will not allow the Holocaust deniers to carry out another Holocaust against the Jewish people. This is the supreme duty of the State of Israel. This is my supreme duty as prime minister of Israel.

ROBERT WOOD, US STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESMAN

We've heard all of this before from President Ahmadinejad. The comments that he made were unacceptable and feed racial hatred.

Iran needs to end this type of inflammatory rhetoric. It's not helpful. This is not rhetoric that should be used in the 21st century.

CZECH FOREIGN MINISTRY - CURRENT HOLDER OF EU PRESIDENCY

We cannot allow, through our presence, the legitimisation of absolutely unacceptable anti-Israeli attacks. The Czech delegation will not return to the conference at all, as a consequence to Ahmadinejad's speech.

FATHER FEDERICO LOMBARDI, VATICAN SPOKESMAN

Naturally, speeches like that of the Iranian president do not go in the right direction, because, even if he did not deny the Holocaust or Israel's right to exist, his expressions were extremist and unacceptable.

ALEJANDRO WOLFF, US DEPUTY AMBASSADOR TO THE UN

We call on the Iranian leadership to show much more measured, moderate, honest and constructive rhetoric when dealing with issues in the region, and not this type of vile, hateful, inciteful speech that we all saw.

NAVI PILLAY, UN HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR HUMAN RIGHTS

I condemn the use of a UN forum for political grandstanding. I find this totally objectionable.

The best riposte for this type of event is to reply and correct, not to withdraw and boycott the conference.

DAVID MILIBAND, BRITISH FOREIGN SECRETARY

President Ahmadinejad's remarks... were offensive, inflammatory and utterly unacceptable.

That such remarks were made using the platform of the UN's anti-racism conference is all the more reprehensible.

MOSHE KANTOR, EUROPEAN JEWISH CONGRESS PRESIDENT

If Hitler himself had addressed this forum, would UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon sit as politely as he did for the lies and hatred spewed forth by Ahmadinejad?

Shame on him, and shame on anyone who stayed in the room to hear, or applaud, his evil rants.

JONAS GAHR STOERE, NORWEGIAN FOREIGN MINISTER

Norway will not accept that the odd-man-out hijacks the collective efforts of the many.

He is mid-electoral campaign, he puts on his show and gets what he wants when chaos breaks out in the room.



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SEE ALSO
Fault lines split UN racism summit
20 Apr 09 |  Europe
Iranian row on Zionism breaks out
22 Sep 08 |  Middle East
Boycott blow for UN racism forum
19 Apr 09 |  Europe
US boycotts UN racism conference
18 Apr 09 |  Americas
West 'is failing racism conference'
02 Sep 01 |  Africa

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