John Baird
John BairdReuters

Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister, John Baird, condemned on Thursday the racist and anti-Semitic statements made by Iranian Vice President Mohammad Reza Rahimi at a conference on drug trafficking in Tehran.

In a statement from New York, where he addressed a UN conference on countering terrorism, Baird said, “Media reports suggest that Iran’s First Vice-President Mohammad Reza Rahimi used an appearance at a UN conference on drugs to make abusive and deeply offensive slurs toward the Jewish people and misrepresent the teachings of Judaism.

“Mr. Rahimi is quoted to have said that the Talmud is responsible for the spread of illegal drugs around the world; this claim is patently absurd.

“Iran’s ongoing use of UN forums to harass Israel and insult Jewish people around the world is completely unacceptable.

“Canada hopes the international community joins us in speaking out against, and utterly rejecting, such ridiculous and anti-Semitic assertions.”

During the conference, Rahimi alleged that the Talmud teaches “how to destroy non-Jews so as to protect an embryo in the womb of a Jewish mother.”

He accused the "Zionists" of inciting drug trafficking claiming, “You cannot find a single addict among the Zionists."

European Union Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton condemned the remarks, saying that “such statements are unacceptable and should not be tolerated,” and reiterating “the European Union's absolute commitment to combating racism and anti-Semitism.”

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman blasted the Iranian regime over the remarks, saying it is composed of “anti-Semitic fanatics.”

Lieberman asserted that “the international community has not yet internalized the great danger that this regime represents for world peace.”

“Hitler said foolish things and succeeded in executing his plans. Today, the situation is different and the sovereign state of Israel will not allow a single Jew to be harmed,” he said.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American Desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)