Brussels, 11 December 2006 - "Any attempt at abetting intolerance and anti-Semitism must be sharply and emphatically rejected by the entire community of states," said Foreign Minister Ursula Plassnik, condemning the so-called "Holocaust Conference" held by the Iranian government in Tehran. In this connection Plassnik welcomed the clear statement by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, referring to the 2005 decision by the UN General Assembly that was adopted by consensus - and thus also with Iran's consent - to hold an international commemorative holocaust day on 27 January and increase educational and information efforts at the national and international levels.
"The information that already emerged during the preparation of this event gives rise to deepest concern. We explicitly made the denial and belittling of the national-socialist genocide a criminal offence in Austria in 1992, and we did so for important reasons," emphasised Plassnik, explicitly referring in this context to the fact that Austrian citizens who participate in this conference could render themselves liable to prosecution under the Austrian Act on the Prohibition.
"Austria and the European Union want a dialogue with Iran. This conference, however, completely contradicts the constant efforts for an open and serious dialogue between cultures which has to be based on respect for common values as well as on respect for one another. I call upon all those responsible in Iran to participate in this dialogue in a constructive manner instead of obstructing and undermining it with a conference of this kind," concluded Plassnik.
Contact: Ministry for Foreign Affairs Press Department Tel.: ++43 (0) 50 1150-3262, 4549, 4550 Fax: ++43 (0) 50 1159-213 abti3(at)bmaa.gv.at