Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s speech at the United Nations racism conference in Geneva outraged US officials for its harsh criticism of the Israeli government, leading to a walkout by European diplomats and repeated interruptions by enraged protesters who condemned Ahmadinejad’s criticism as “racist.”
US Deputy Ambassador to the United Nations Alejandro Wolff said he “can’t think of any other word than shameful” for the Iranian President’s criticism, shortly thereafter finding the words “vile and hateful” to hurl at the controversial speech.
While US officials went into great detail about the “grave injustice” of making such public criticism, State Department spokesman Robert Wood said that the US wouldn’t totally rule out future talks with Iran, inasmuch as they had just recently said that they were hoping to hold them.
At the same time, Wood demanded that Iran “change its behavior and stop this horrible rhetoric.” Coupled with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s comments last week that the offer of direct talks did not remove any of America’s many long-standing preconditions for talking with the Iranian government, it seems direct diplomacy is unlikely to move seriously forward any time soon.
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