Questions for Prime Minister Tony Blair on Ahmadinejad's Threat Against Israel (Excerpts)

November 2, 2005

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  • Israel

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Mr. Ken Purchase (Wolverhampton, North-East) (Lab/Co-op): . . . Will [PM Blair] accept that he speaks for all when he condemns the appalling, dreadful and truly disgraceful statement of the Iranian President, who expressed his wish that Israel be wiped off the map? Will my right hon. Friend also accept that his further remarks at Hampton court over the weekend carried an implicit threat of military action against Iran? Does he share my view that the people of this country are in no mood for a military adventure in Iran, and if he does, will he explain his remarks at Hampton court?

Prime Minister Blair: I am very happy to say that, first, I did not talk either explicitly or implicitly about a military threat to Iran, but what I did say was this. Iran has to realise that the international community cannot tolerate continuing conduct that, frankly, is supporting terrorism around the world; that is supporting terrorism not just in the Middle East, but elsewhere; and that is in breach of its nuclear weapons responsibilities and obligations under the International Atomic Energy Agency. I did want to make it clear, and I do so again now, that the statements by the Iranian President in respect of Israel are completely and totally unacceptable. Obviously, as I made clear at the press conference, we want to discuss this with other allies and with other members of the Security Council. Nobody is talking about military threats, invasion of Iran or any of the rest of it. What we are saying, however, is that the Iranian Government have got to understand that the international community simply will not put up with their continued breach of the proper and normal standards of behaviour that we expect from a member of the United Nations. The most important thing at the moment is that that is a unified message, and that it goes out not just from this House and this country, but right across the world.

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