As the Iranian President was welcomed home from the controversial UN conference on racism in Geneva, the UN Secretary General came under fire from the government in Tehran.Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said he deplored Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s comment to the forum that Israel was a “cruel and racist state”. But the Iranian foreign minister today said that criticism of his president was “unreasonable and not neutral”. The speech triggered a noisy protest and a walkout by some delegates at the conference. And as the meeting continues, more participants have been giving their reactions. Nobel Laureate and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel said: “He (Ahmadinejad) wants to be almost better than Hitler. Hitler did not succeed in annihilating our people.” There was a flood of other condemnations after Ahmadinejad’s speech. Human Rights Watch says Iran has a lot of explaining to do regarding its record on human rights, so a more humble approach would have been better.
War of words over racism conference