EU raps Iranian VP Rahimi over anti-Semitic speech

After Rahimi blames Jews for int'l drug trade, EU's Ashton reaffirms Europe's commitment to fighting "racism," "anti-Semitism."

June 28, 2012 11:47
1 minute read.
EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton [file]

EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton 390 (R). (photo credit: REUTERS/Kimmo Mantyla/Lehtikuva)

EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton on Thursday condemned Iranian First Vice President Mohammad-Reza Rahimi for a speech he gave at a UN conference in Tehran this week in which he said Jews controlled the international drug trade.

“The high representative is deeply disturbed by racist and anti-Semitic statements made by Iranian First Vice President Mohammad-Reza Rahimi at the UN International Day against Drug Abuse,” Ashton said. She added that such statements are “unacceptable,” and reiterated the “EU’s absolute commitment to combating racism and anti-Semitism.”

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During his speech, Rahimi blamed Judaism for the spread of illegal drugs around the world and said the Talmud teaches to “destroy everyone who opposes the Jews.”

He went on to assert that there are no drug addicts who are Zionists: “The Islamic Republic of Iran will pay for anybody who can research and find one single Zionist who is an addict. They do not exist.

This is the proof of their involvement in drugs trade,” The New York Times quoted Rahimi as saying.

Diplomats present at the conference criticized the speech, but remained for the rest of the event.

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Iranian threat

In Israel, Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman swiftly condemned the comments.

“Hitler also said crazy things and succeeded in carrying out his plan,” Liberman said, adding that the world has not yet come to understand the danger Iran poses.

“The fact that UN representatives and representatives of European nations are still participating in conferences held in Tehran, in which the worst kind of anti-Semitics remarks are made, legitimizes the the regime of the ayatollahs,” he said.

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