Reuters: Iran’s foreign minister said on Saturday he had referred to the Palestinians, not Israel, when he said a nation could not be removed from the map, the official IRNA news agency said.
DEAD SEA, Jordan (Reuters) – Iran’s foreign minister said on Saturday he had referred to the Palestinians, not Israel, when he said a nation could not be removed from the map, the official IRNA news agency said.
Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki had earlier appeared to contradict a previous statement by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad calling for Israel to be wiped out.
“Every primary school student knows that it is not possible to remove a country from the map and that is very clear,” he told a conference in Jordan when asked about Ahmadinejad’s controversial remarks.
“We are not talking about the invasion of any country,” he said. He added that Iran believed that “without justice” no peace plan would end the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
But IRNA carried a report later on Saturday saying Mottaki denied “some Western media reports as quoting him about the Zionist regime,” referring to Iran’s arch-foe Israel.
“In this meeting, I said that every primary school student knows that a nation like the Palestinian nation cannot be erased from geographic maps,” IRNA quoted him as saying.
“What we are talking about is a regime that has an illegal basis,” he said about Israel.
Ahmadinejad caused an international storm in 2005 when he said that Israel should be wiped off the map. Iranian officials have claimed that that remark should not be seen as a threat.