The Government have consistently condemned the Iranian President's inflammatory comments about the state of Israel and his repeated offensive statements about the holocaust. We cannot ignore what the leader of a significant country says during his speech at the UN General Assembly, and there was widespread international criticism of President Ahmadinejad's comments at the UN General Assembly in 2008.
During his speech to the 2009 UN General Assembly, President Ahmadinejad again made anti-Semitic assertions. This immediately prompted UK officials to leave the room, alongside representatives from Australia; Argentina; Costa Rica; Denmark; France; Germany; Hungary; Italy; New Zealand; Palau; Poland; Slovenia; Uruguay; and the USA. The Canadian and Israeli delegations had left the room before the speech had started.
British officials did not make a note at the time of the countries whose representatives applauded the speech.
We made clear our condemnation of the Iranian President's speech during the UN General Assembly by leaving the room. Prior to this speech at the UN, President Ahmadinejad had given a similarly outrageous speech at Friday Prayers at Tehran University, during which he again denied the Holocaust and warned that “the Zionist regime was doomed to destruction”.
In response to this speech my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary issued a statement denouncing his claims as “abhorrent as well as ignorant”, and calling on the world community to “stand up against this tide of abuse”. It is totally unacceptable that one member of the UN should repeatedly threaten the existence of another.
The Government have consistently condemned the Iranian President's inflammatory comments about the State of Israel and his offensive statements about the Holocaust. Such rhetoric is a recipe for instability and only serves to undermine international confidence in Iran's willingness to act as a respectable member of the international community. We will continue to speak out in response to such deplorable and ignorant comments.