Germany’s Foreign Minister, in a letter to the American Jewish Committee (AJC) received on August 8, 2008, condemned the remarks of Dr. Mohammed Javad A. Larijani, former deputy foreign minister of Iran, at a June conference in Berlin.
“The views expressed by Mr. Larijani are utterly irresponsible and unacceptable,” wrote Dr. Frank-Walter Steinmeier, German Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs.
“The Federal Government has called upon Iran time and time again to stop outrageous verbal attacks on Israel and endorse the international consensus in favour of a two-state solution. I can assure you that we are continuing our efforts to persuade Iran to do so.”
AJC President Richard Sideman and Executive Director David Harris had written to the foreign minister after Larijani publicly attacked Israel at a government-sponsored security conference in June. In his remarks, Larijani dismissed Israel’s existence and called for cancellation of the “Zionist project.”
“We are deeply gratified by Dr. Steinmeier’s strong and unequivocal response,” said Harris. “Germany is today one of Israel’s closest allies and a proven friend of the Jewish people.”
In his letter to AJC, Steinmeieir reiterated Germany’s steadfast support for Israel.
“The Federal Government and I personally have consistently emphasized the special responsibility Germany bears toward the State of Israel. We oppose any attempt to deny the Holocaust as a historical fact. Attempts to call into question Israel’s right to exist have been condemned by the Federal Government outright in the most categorical terms,” wrote Steinmeier.