Paris, 12 December 2006
Q. – (on the conference held in Iran on the Holocaust)
THE MINISTER – First of all, I reiterate our utter condemnation of this conference and the revisionist ideas it’s given a platform to.
For the rest, it’s for the judicial authorities to give their opinion in the light of the facts and the legislation currently in force.
Nevertheless, I’d like to draw attention to the existence of international texts on this matter, in particular the resolution adopted last year by consensus at the UN General Assembly which includes, I quote, “Rejecting any denial of the Holocaust as a historical event, either in full or in part”.
This resolution commits everyone, including Iran who, moreover, didn’t oppose it. And I want to add that Israel is a recognized member of the United Nations. This fact has to be accepted by all the other UN member States, including Iran.
Q. – Yes, that means that this is another violation by Iran of an internationally- recognized provision. Could this provocation, yet another one, at last lead to finalization of the draft resolution on sanctions which the international community can’t agree on?
THE MINISTER – We are in the process of drafting a resolution which should signal a first stage in the sanctions measures against the Tehran regime. As you know, these are proportionate, reversible and progressive measures. They target both the nuclear and ballistic sectors. We are currently engaged in discussions in New York. I think we have a good text on sanctions vis-à-vis Tehran. I hope we can get everyone’s agreement on it.
Q. – What’s been holding things up since the end of August, since that was the deadline set for demanding that Tehran halt uranium enrichment?
THE MINISTER – Initially we prepared, with the British and Germans, a new version of this draft resolution. Then the Russians on one side and the Americans on the other expressed some slightly different views. Last week I talked to the Russian minister, Mr Lavrov. I’ve spoken on the phone to my other colleagues. A few days ago, in Paris, here at the Quai d’Orsay, there was a meeting of the political directors of the foreign ministries of the five permanent members of the Security Council, and of Germany.
I think that, now, we are a few days away – at any rate I hope it will be before the end of the year – from getting a resolution at the United Nations Security Council.
Q. – Does the verbal frenzy of the Iranian leaders and particularly the Iranian president, Mr Ahmadinejad, give you additional arguments for getting this resolution and request for sanctions through?
THE MINISTER – Obviously, there isn’t a single person in the whole wide world who could accept these statements: already several months ago, Mr Ahmadinejad told us that Israel ought to be wiped off the map.
His statements are not only shocking, but also quite simply unacceptable. He’s doing this again today, vis-à-vis something which is unique in history, the Holocaust, which no one has the right to question. In this context, we can only want to get a resolution at the Security Council as fast as possible./.