German Chancellor Merkel and Foreign Minister Steinmeier Condemn in the Sharpest Terms Statements by Iranian President

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier condemned in the sharpest terms the most recent statements by the president of Iran about Israel and the Holocaust on December 14. Chancellor Merkel described the statements as “incomprehensible.” Members of the Federal Cabinet who were meeting on Wednesday found the remarks “shocking,” Government Spokesman Thomas Steg reported from the meeting. The German Government will redouble its efforts toward an international repudiation of remarks made by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

The statements made Wednesday by President Ahmadinejad are absolutely unacceptable, Foreign Minister Steinmeier said. “The Federal Government condemns in the sharpest possible terms these new statements by the Iranian president,” Steinmeier said. “I cannot conceal that this encumbers bilateral relations as well as the negotiations on the Iranian nuclear program.”

Both Merkel and Steinmeier said they would work for a clear signal of condemnation from the European Union at the European Council meeting on Thursday. Moreover, Merkel said she would seek a European proposal that the United Nations take up the matter with the goal of achieving a clear condemnation of the remarks by the community of nations.

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Submitted by Rosian Zerner, Boston