Merkel condemns Iran's statements on Israel

German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday condemned as "absolutely unacceptable" statements by Iran's president that Israel should be "wiped off the map." "What was said about Israel is in every respect absolutely unacceptable," she said in her first speech to parliament since becoming chancellor. "Iran must know that we cannot put up with such conduct." Merkel noted Germany was marking its 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations with Israel and stressed its right to exist and be free from terror, "just as we recognize the right of the Palestinian people to have their own state." She added that she could "only warn" the Iranian government that cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency on its nuclear program was crucial.