Britain and the European Union have condemned the anti-Semitic remarks made by the Iranian vice president during a speech earlier this week at a UN conference in Tehran.
In a highly anti-Semitic speech, Iranian Vice President Mohammad Reza Rahimi condemned the “Zionists” and the teachings of the Talmud for “inciting global drug trade and addiction in a bid to annihilate non-Jewish communities.” He added that the “Zionists” were behind the world’s major drug trade.
Responding to the comments, the British foreign minister for the Middle East, Alistair Burt, said: “We condemn utterly the baseless comments from Iran’s vice president Rahimi about the Talmud and the Jewish faith, made at a United Nations drugs control event in Tehran this week.” He added: “Racism and anti-Semitism are unacceptable in any circumstance, let alone at an event sponsored by the United Nations. We call upon Iran to correct this scandalous statement, and to ensure that its officials respect the proper international norms and standards in the future.”
EU foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, also condemned Rahimi’s comments, describing them as racist and anti-Semitic. “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,” she said.