AFP: Iran summoned the Spanish ambassador to protest the calling in of its envoy to Madrid over the latest anti-Israeli outburst by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Mehr news agency reported on Thursday. TEHRAN, June 7, 2007 (AFP) – Iran summoned the Spanish ambassador to protest the calling in of its envoy to Madrid over the latest anti-Israeli outburst by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Mehr news agency reported on Thursday.
Ahmadinejad provoked a new storm of controversy earlier this week by saying a “countdown” had begun that would end with Lebanese and Palestinian militants destroying Israel.
“Iran is surprised by Spain’s reaction to the comments of Dr Ahmadinejad on the Zionist regime and sees it as a hasty action,” top foreign ministry official Ebrahim Rahimpour told ambassador Antonio Perez-Hernandez Torra late Wednesday.
Rahimpour, the ministry’s pointman for Western Europe, also accused Spain of “double standards” in its policy on the Middle East, saying it condoned Israeli killings of Palestinians while not supporting the Palestinian government.
Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos on Monday described Ahmadinejad’s comments as “unacceptable.
Spain has “good relations” with Iran but “the response (to these statements) must be firm, categorical and unambiguous on the part of a country like Spain, the European Union and the international community,” he said.
The Iranian president sparked outrage abroad shortly after coming to power in 2005 for saying that Israel should be “wiped from the map” and then repeatedly predicting that the Jewish state would disappear.
Last week Spain hosted talks between Iran’s top nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani and EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana on the Islamic country’s nuclear programme.