Reuters: The Iranian president’s remarks that the Holocaust was a myth risk isolating his country and will hinder talks to resolve a dispute over Tehran’s nuclear ambitions, Germany’s foreign minister said. BERLIN (Reuters) – The Iranian president’s remarks that the Holocaust was a myth risk isolating his country and will hinder talks to resolve a dispute over Tehran’s nuclear ambitions, Germany’s foreign minister said.
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had not only endangered the Middle East peace process, Frank-Walter Steinmeier told Bild am Sonntag newspaper in a guest commentary released on Saturday.
“Germany’s relationship with Iran will also faces a severe test. There is a danger of Iran entering full international isolation,” Steinmeier continued in the commentary which will appear in the newspaper on Sunday.
“After the comments of the Iranian president the nuclear talks between Europeans and Iran will also be more difficult. The world needs verifiable guarantees that Iran is not striving for the atomic bomb,” Steinmeier continued.
Ahmadinejad said earlier this month he doubted that the Nazis killed six million Jews and reinforced this view last week.
“They have fabricated a legend under the name ‘Massacre of the Jews’, and they hold it higher than God himself, religion itself and the prophets themselves,” he told a crowd in the southeastern Iranian city of Zahedan.
Steinmeier said the remarks were shocking and inflammatory and were a terrible offence to the Nazis’ innocent victims.
Germany, Britain and France, negotiating for the European Union, had tentatively planned to hold talks later this month on the nuclear programme, which Iran says is only for generating electricity. Washington accuses Tehran of seeking nuclear bombs.
Steinmeier said that German Chancellor Angela Merkel had made it clear with her partners at this week’s EU summit that Iran’s president’s could not lie about the Holocaust or threaten Israel.
“Only an Iran that shows responsibility and adheres to international rules can be a respected member of the global community,” Steinmeier said.
The EU three have been trying to persuade Tehran to give up sensitive nuclear technology in return for political and economic incentives. The talks broke down in August after Tehran resumed processing of uranium.