UN head calls on Iran to refrain from anti-Semitic comments

EU foreign policy chief also slams Iranian VP for blaming world drug problems on Jews during UN conference

Stuart Winer is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (photo credit: Nati Shohat/Flash90/File)
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (photo credit: Nati Shohat/Flash90/File)

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton have come out against anti-Semitic comments made by Iranian Vice President Mohammad Reza-Rahimi a day Tuesday, in which he described how the Talmud purportedly instructs Jews to destroy humanity.

“The secretary general has on many occasions called on Iranian officials to refrain from these kinds of anti-Semitic statements. He does so again in response to these latest reported comments,” UN spokesman Martin Nesirky said Wednesday. “He believes it is the responsibility of leaders to promote harmony and understanding and he deeply regrets expressions of hatred and religious intolerance.”

Ashton also slammed Rahimi’s “racist and anti-Semitic” comments Thursday, condemning them “unreservedly.” “Such statements are unacceptable and should not be tolerated,” said Ashton, who also heads the international community’s stalled nuclear talks with Tehran.

In an unbridled tirade against the Jews and Zionist during a UN-sponsored conference in Iran earlier this week, Rahimi condemned the Talmud and Zionists for promoting global drug trade and addiction as part of a strategy to annihilate non-Jewish communities.

Earlier on Wednesday, Israel’s UN Ambassador Ron Prosor called on Ki-moon to denounce the statements from Rahimi.

The meeting was attended by a group of international diplomats, some of whom expressed dismay and shock at Rahimi’s statements, but allowed the speech and conference to continue.

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