Thursday, September 25, 2008
French FM: Condemning Iran Insufficient
Following Ahmadinejad's address to UN, Bernard Kouchner joins Peres in slamming anti-Semitic content of speech, but adds, 'We cannot just condemn anymore. We must take care of the Iranian nuclear issue. The situation is becoming dangerous'
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's anti-Semitic address to the United Nations General Assembly has incurred the wrath of many public figures worldwide. Just a short while after President Shimon Peres slammed the leader's speech in his own address, he was joined by French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner in condemnation.
Talking to reporters at the UN headquarters, Kouchner said, "We are tired of condemning the Iranian president's speeches."
In answer to Ynet's query he said, "I strongly regret, lament, and condemn the things Ahmadinejad said in his speech, especially the anti-Semitic remarks."
Kouchner said, however, that he believes condemnation is not enough.
"We cannot just condemn it anymore. Ahmadinejad's words make clear that we must take care of the Iranian nuclear issue, we must react because the situation is extremely serious and dangerous," he noted.
He claimed that the UN must continue to promote the sanctions on Iran, especially in light of new reports submitted by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which he dubbed "important and dangerous."
Earlier, Russia had announced that it would not be participating in the medium term of the six-nation talks to be held on the matter of Iran.
When asked whether Russia's planned absence was a product of the controversy surrounding its invasion of Georgia Kouchner replied that Russia was cooperating with the US and the UN on other issues, such as the humanitarian crisis in Myanmar.
Regarding politics and security in Israel, the foreign minister said he believes certain progress has been made on issues such as the removal of checkpoints in the West Bank, and expressed hope that negotiations on a new coalition being assembled by Kadima Chairwoman Tzipi Livni would also be successful.