Comments by President of Iran: Statement by Chair of Britain-Palestine Group in Parliament


The Chair of Britain-Palestine All Party Parliamentary Group, Richard Burden MP, today issued the following statement:

“The comments made by the President of Iran on Wednesday were deplorable. They were shocking in the same way that it would have been disgraceful if anyone said that Palestine, or any other country and people should be wiped off the map.

“That is why it is important that those of us who have been fighting for justice for the Palestinians totally condemn these sentiments and make clear that these remarks are not shared by the Palestinian people themselves. Palestinians want there to be a two state solution, with both nations living side-by-side in peace. I am pleased that today the Palestinian chief negotiator, Saeb Erekat, stated this position unambiguously and left no doubt that Palestinians recognise the right of Israel to exist.

“The statement from President Ahmadinejad, and other comments like it do not contribute towards finding a peaceful, workable solution for the people that live in the Middle East. They in fact make it much harder.

“I share the feelings of revulsion which were expressed by the Prime Minister yesterday, and echoed by Kofi Annan on behalf of the UN. Their words were well chosen. In working out where to go from here, the International community has a continuing responsibility to carefully weigh its words, and its actions. It can be all too easy to react with simplistic remarks or policy suggestions which would not be effective and which would not further the cause for peace in the region. Statements like those of the President of Iran must not be allowed to deflect any of us from doing all we can to secure the peace with justice which both Israelis and the Palestinians deserve, and which will be vital for the future security of all of us.”

Recent Posts

Richard Burden

Avatar photo

I was Labour Member of Parliament for Birmingham Northfield between 1992 and 2019 and a former Shadow Transport Minister. I now chair Healthwatch in Birmingham and Solihull, and the West Midlands Board of Remembering Srebrenica. I also work as a public affairs consultant. I am an effective community advocate and stakeholder alliance builder with a passion for human rights. I am a trustee of the Balfour Project charity and of Citizens Advice Birmingham, and a former Chair of Medical Aid for Palestinians.

Get in touch

You can reach me by email at or use the form on the Contact page to send me a message.