Iran Foreign Minister’s London Lecture ‘An Insult To British Values’


The presence of Iran’s Foreign Minister in London this week to speak on Middle East security challenges has been slammed as “an insult to British values” by local Jewish community leaders.

Mohammad Javad Zarif, who was instrumental in negotiating the nuclear deal that saw sanctions against Iran lifted last month, will speak at Chatham House on Thursday in an address titled: “Overcoming Regional Challenges in the Middle East: An Iranian Perspective.”

Outrage and irony greeted the idea of Zarif lecturing the Royal Institute of International Affairs on security in the Middle East, where Iran is widely viewed as an enabler of terror and the destruction of Israel is official Iranian state policy.

“To give [Zarif] a platform to speak at a prestigious London venue is nothing less than an insult to British values,” said Board of Deputies’ President Jonathan Arkush.

“This is a man who has publicly supported Hezbollah, an Iranian-funded organisation believed to have perpetrated acts of terror around the world, including the 1994 bombing of a Jewish cultural centre in Argentina, killing 85, and the bombing of a tourist bus in Bulgaria in 2012, killing six.”

He added: “Zarif represents a regime which has been complicit in massive violations of human rights beyond its borders, including in Syria, where it supports the Houthis, whose flag proclaims ‘Death to the Jews’.

“His is a government which sponsored a Holocaust cartoon competition, condemned around the world and notably by UNESCO. Zarif is the representative of a vile regime and a pariah terrorist state. His presence at Chatham House is an affront to anyone with a belief in peace and justice.”

Sir Eric Pickles MP, chairman of Conservative Friends of Israel, challenged Zarif to make clear his country’s approach to terrorism: “The Foreign Minister needs to be clear that Iran will stop funding terrorism and that authorities within his country will cease making anti-Semitic remarks.”

Breitbart London has covered the various threats made by Iran against Israel. Last September Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the theocratic dictator of Iran, tweeted that Israel would not survive for 25 more years.

Khamenei recently released a book detailing his plans for destroying Israel over time. The so-called “Supreme Leader” added a message of rebuke for “The Great Satan,” which is how the regime refers to the United States, cautioning it for its role in world affairs.

Sir Richard Dalton, Britain’s former ambassador to Iran who is chairing the Chatham House event that falls as world leaders gather in London to discuss financial support for Syria, said he was “glad Iran is present in the Syria talks and that they have an important role in combating Islamic State.”

He added: “Long-term, Iran should change some of its policies so that they can be part of the solution to several Middle East security issues.

“I would say the same to Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Iraq, the Gulf States, and finally to Arab countries more widely, as regards their unrepresentative and abusive political systems.”

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