Iran upset by French president's remarks

Sarkozy said he couldn't shake hands with someone who says Israel must be wiped off the map.

sarkozy pointing 224.88 ap (photo credit: )
sarkozy pointing 224.88 ap
(photo credit: )
The Iranian foreign ministry summoned the French ambassador to Teheran over remarks this week by French President Nicolas Sarkozy about his Iranian counterpart, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Iranian media and France's foreign ministry said Thursday. According to Iran's state television, Deputy Foreign Minister Mehdi Safari expressed strong objections to recent "interventionist comments" by Sarkozy. The report said Safari summoned the French ambassador, Bernard Poletti, on Wednesday. During the meeting, the Iranian official warned about the impact Sarkozy's remarks could have on the two countries' bilateral relations, the report added. In a speech about human rights Monday, Sarkozy said he had told former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan that "it is impossible for me to shake hands with someone who dared to say that Israel should be wiped off the map." Sarkozy also reportedly said that Ahmadinejad doesn't represent all Iranians. "I know perfectly well the Iranian president does not represent all the power in Iran, and even less ... the Iranian population," Sarkozy said, according to the text of his speech posted on the French president's Web site. Sarkozy was addressing former US President Jimmy Carter, who was one of the guests attending a ceremony in Paris celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In Paris, the French ministry said Thursday that its ambassador reiterated France's opinion that Ahmadinejad's statement regarding Israel was "unacceptable." In 2005, Ahmadinejad prompted international criticism when he said the Jewish state should be "wiped off the map."