Iran protests Sarkozy remark against Ahmadinejad

December 11th, 2008 - 7:15 pm ICT by IANS  

Tehran, Dec 11 (IANS) Iran has lodged a strong protest against French President Nicholas Sarkozy’s remark against President Mehmoud Ahmadinejad and warned Paris of adverse impact on bilateral relations, official IRNA news agency reported Thursday.The Iranian foreign ministry summoned French envoy Bernard Poletti Wednesday, and told him that “France’s approach towards Iran would leave unsuitable consequences on bilateral ties”.

In a speech on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Sarkozy said Monday he would not hold direct talks with Ahmadinejad as he did not represent the Iranian people.

Deputy Foreign Minister for European Affairs Mehdi Safari voiced Tehran’s indignation over the comments, saying such remarks would have adverse consequences on Tehran-Paris future relations.

“I know perfectly well that the Iranian president does not represent Iran, much less the Iranian people,” the French president said.

Sarkozy said he had told former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan that he (Sarkozy) would not shake hands with Ahmadinejad “who dared to say Israel must be erased from the map”.

Western states, led by the US, suspect the Islamic country of secretly pursuing a nuclear weapons programme. Last month, the UN General Assembly passed a resolution criticising human rights violations in Iran.

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