Photo: Reuters
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
Photo: Reuters
Photo: Dan Balilti
Shalom: Encouraged by U.N. decision
Photo: Dan Balilti
Photo: Reuters
Sarkozy: President's remarks were intolerable
Photo: Reuters
Photo: AFP
Rice: It has to be taken seriously
Photo: AFP
Iran: We are not threatening violence
Tehran issues statement pledging to stand by U.N. commitments not to use violence against another country, one day after Security Council condemns anti-Israel remarks by Iranian president
Iran's Foreign Ministry issued a statement Saturday morning saying it would stand by its U.N. commitments not to use violence against another country, responding to international criticism over remarks by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad vowing to destroy Israel.


"The Islamic Republic of Iran is committed to its U.N. Charter commitments," the statement read. "It has never used force against a second country or threatened the use of force."


The statement was issued several hours after the U.N. Security Council condemned Ahmadinejad remarks that Israel should be "wiped off the map."


Council members approved a draft resolution Friday warning Iran that such offensive language is intolerable. The draft was distributed to all member-states of the world body.


Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom was encouraged by the Security Council's

decision to condemn Iran over Ahmadinejad's remarks.


"The unprecedented widespread international support for Israel in such a short time clearly signals the improvement of Israel's standing in the international world, particularly the U.N. that was for many years hostile towards Israel," he said.


"The U.N. is changing its image and is firming standing together against forces threatening Israel's fate," he added. 


French minister: You are not alone


Shalom met with French Interior Minister Nicola Sarkozy Friday, who fiercely condemned the Iranian president.


"The Iranian president's remarks were intolerable. We must respond to them in the most decisive way," he said, adding that "you (Israel) are not alone, you have a friend."


According to Sarkozy, there is a decline in anti-Semitism in France.

"The situation has improved, there are many more arrests and courts are stricter," he said. "Despite this, we must continue with efforts and not rest on our laurels. I will not close my eyes and remain silent, we must be more aware."


Rice: Violation of U.N. norms 


U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on Saturday denounced Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's call for Israel to be "wiped off the map" as a violation of all United Nations norms.


"I think it has to be taken seriously," Rice said at a news conference with Japanese leaders at the Pentagon.


"When the president of one country says that another country should be wiped off the face of the map, in violation of all of the norms of the United Nations, where they sit together as members, it has to be taken seriously," she said.


Rice said Ahmadinejad's statement "only demonstrates why we are working so hard to keep Iran from getting technologies that lead to a nuclear weapon under cover of civilian nuclear power."


She went on to call Iran "probably the world's most important state sponsor of terrorism," whose people live "without freedom and without the prospect of freedom because an unelected few are denying them that."


Reuters and AFP contributed to the report


First published: 29.10.05, 10:50
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