Thursday, August 03, 2006

France FM: Iran no Longer Stabilising force

After Ahmadinejad called for Israel's destruction Thursday, France FM Philippe Douste-Blazy decided that Iran is no longer a stabilising force within the region.

No doubt this is the first time Ahmadinejad has called for Israel's destruction.

Haaretz reports:

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Thursday the solution to the Middle East crisis was to destroy Israel, Iranian state media reported.

In a speech during an emergency meeting of Muslim leaders in Malaysia, Ahmadinejad also called for an immediate cease-fire to end the fighting between Israel and the Iranian-back group Hezbollah.

"Although the main solution is for the elimination of the Zionist regime, at this stage an immediate cease-fire must be implemented," Ahmadinejad said, according to state-run television in a report posted on its Web site.

France's foreign minister condemned Ahmadinehjad's comments Thursday, saying Iran is ruining its chances to play a positive and stabilizing role in the Middle East.

"I totally condemn these words," Philippe Douste-Blazy said on France-Inter radio, saying they were "absolutely unacceptable on anyone's part, especially from a head of state."

The crisis had presented an opportunity for Iran to "show that it can play a positive and stabilizing role in the region," Douste-Blazy said, adding that Ahmadinejad's statement "confirmed that this is not the case."

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