Dr Charles Tannock

Member of the European Parliament for London

Parliament condemns remarks by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Israel

Agence Europe - 17 November 2005

Strasbourg, 17/11/2005 (Agence Europe) - In a joint resolution by all political groups (except Independence/Democracy), adopted on Thursday, the European Parliament condemned the declarations by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who, when speaking at a conference in Teheran on 26 October on the “World without Zionism”, had, with reference to what Ayatollah Khomeini would have advocated, said “Israel should be wiped off the face of the earth”.

In this context, the Parliament stressed that it “firmly rejects any call to destruction of a State that is a full member of the international community”, and called on the Iranian government to “respect its international obligations under Article 2 of the United Nations Charter” and to “abstain from resorting to threats or the use of force against the territorial integrity or the political independence of any State”. Also, the adoption of an amendment by British Conservative Charles Tannock urging Mr Ahmadinejad to “completely withdraw his warlike declarations” strengthened the firmness shown by the Parliament with regards Teheran.

As the president of the Council, Douglas Alexander, and External Relations Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner had done on Wednesday evening during the debate, the Parliament expressed its concern about the “possible consequences of this kind of declaration in a region that is still confronted by violence, terrorist attacks and calls to radical fundamentalism”.

Restating its “unshakeable commitment in favour of the rule of law of Israel to exist within internally recognised frontiers and in complete security alongside an independent and viable Palestinian State”, the Parliament calls on Iran to “recognise Israel and its right to live in peace and security using its influence in the Middle East in order to persuade the movements in which it maintains relations to abstain from the use of violence”.

Considering, moreover, that the declarations by Mr Ahmadinejad call for questions to be put on the role played by Iran in the Middle East region and on its intentions, the Parliament again invited Teheran not to help the international terrorist groups and to “play a dynamic role in the region and a positive role in the Middle East peace process”.

Finally, the Parliament recalls that, in this context, an agreement on the nuclear issue, on which Germany, France and the United Kingdom (EU-3) are working on behalf of the European Union, should encourage all parties concerned to promote global peace and security.