Austria’s Kurz to Iran’s Rouhani: Calling for Israel’s demise ‘absolutely unacceptable’

by WorldTribune Staff, July 5, 2018

It is “absolutely unacceptable” to deny Israel’s right to exist and to call for the Jewish state’s destruction, Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said during a July 4 meeting with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.

Kurz reiterated that Austria “is unconditionally committed to the security of Israel and its citizens.”

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani with Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz. / Reuters

Rouhani was in Vienna as part of his European tour aimed at salvaging the Iran nuclear deal.

“During this memorial year we are particularly aware of our historic responsibility,” Kurz said. “We strongly condemn all forms of anti-Semitism as well as any form of downplaying or denial of the Holocaust.”

In Geneva on July 3, Swiss President Alain Berset said that in bilateral talks with Rouhani he had underscored “the need to recognize the state of Israel,” prompting a reply from the Iranian president that Teheran viewed “the Zionist regime as an illegitimate regime.”

Last month, to mark Al-Quds Day, Rouhani sent a message to the nation, saying, “I believe the land of Palestine will be returned to owners of the land with the help of god.” He also told reporters that, “Israel can never feel that it is in a safe place.” During the event demonstrators chanted, “Death to Israel” and “Death to America.”

Rouhani, in the past, has joined other Iranian leaders in calling for Israel’s destruction.

Shortly after being elected in 2013, Rouhani called Israel an “old wound” that “should be removed.” Iranian media later claimed that Rouhani’s remarks were distorted.

Last month, Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei tweeted that “the Zionist regime will perish in the not-so-far future.”

Also last month, Khamenei called Israel “a malignant cancerous tumor in the West Asian region that has to be removed and eradicated,” and branded Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a “child killer.”

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