Board of Deputies condemns decision to invite Iranian Foreign Minister to speak in London

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Board President Jonathan Arkush has condemned a London speaking invitation handed to Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.

He said: “To give Zarif a platform to speak at a prestigious London venue like Chatham House is nothing less than an insult to British values. This is a man who has publicly supported Hezbollah, an Iranian-funded organisation which is widely believed to have perpetrated acts of terror around the world including the 1994 bombing of a Jewish cultural centre in Argentina which killed 85 people and the bombing of a tourist bus in Bulgaria in 2012 which killed six. Hezbollah has also been found to have used funds from drug trafficking operations to buy arms.

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.”

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