Iran General NewsCanada chides Iran

Canada chides Iran

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Canadian Press: Prime Minister Paul Martin is condemning an anti-Israeli diatribe from Iran’s President as a racist relic from a past age. Canadian Press

Ottawa — Prime Minister Paul Martin is condemning an anti-Israeli diatribe from Iran’s President as a racist relic from a past age.

The federal government also called in Iran’s top diplomat in Canada for a formal reprimand.

The Prime Minister was asked about President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s declaration that Israel should be wiped off the earth.

“It’s beyond the pale. It’s absolutely incredible,” Mr. Martin said Thursday.

“That kind of lack of respect, intolerance, anti-Semitism — this is the 21st century and that statement is just out of an era that is long past and never should have occurred.”

Mr. Ahmadinejad’s remarks were carried on international news wires Wednesday and Iran’s top diplomat in Canada was immediately summoned to the offices of the Foreign Affairs Department.

“We learned about (the comments) at 11:41 a.m.,” said an official in Foreign Affairs. “The Iranian chargé d’affaires was in here three hours later.”

With relations between Israel and its Arab and Muslims neighbours showing some signs of improvement in recent months, Mr. Ahmadinejad delivered a scathing speech at a conference titled: “The World Without Zionism.”

He issued a warning to leaders of the Muslim world who build bridges with the Jewish state.

“(Those who recognize Israel) will be engulfed by the fiery rage of their own people,” he said. “Israel must be wiped off the map.”

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