[Iranian diplomat Hormoz Ghahremani giving an inflammatory speech at an Auckland mosque]

An Iranian diplomat has been accused of fuelling radicalism with a fiery, anti-Israel speech at an Auckland mosque.

Jewish community leaders want Hormoz Ghahremani, first secretary of the Iranian Embassy, to be expelled after he appeared alongside speakers who denied the Holocaust and called for the “surgical removal” of Israel.

In his speech, Ghahremani said Israel was trying to “deceive the world” by pretending to be an advocate of peace when in fact it was fuelling terrorism and extremism in the Middle East to divert attention from the Palestine issue.

At the same event, a visiting Irani cleric Hojatoleslam Chafie said Israel “hides behind a false phenomenon of the Holocaust and that it was a conspiracy to infiltrate Islamic countries.”

The Israel Institute of New Zealand has written to the Human Rights Commission and to the New Zealand Foreign Minister over statements made at the mosque.

A video has also been posted online by the Islamic Ahlulbayt Foundation of New Zealand detailing the comments that were made.

The Israel Institute of New Zealand also submitted a complaint to the Human Rights Commission over other comments made in the video by Iranian cleric, Sheik Shafie, and a New Zealand Muslim leader, Sayed Taghi Derhami, who denied the Holocaust and called for the destruction of Israel.

Israel Institute of New Zealand director, Prof Paul Moon, said such conspiracy theories needed to be countered by New Zealand ministers. “We cannot allow such unbridled hatred and lies to go unchallenged. The comments are made more absurd by the fact that Iran is considered the foremost state sponsor of terror in the world.” He said the Institute had written to Foreign Minister Peters seeking a formal censure of the Iranian official.

Prof Moon says the Israel Institute expects there to be formal censure for the racist speech. “We cannot let Holocaust denial and calls for another to go unchallenged in 2017 New Zealand.”

To read more, go to the Stuff website: https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/98300391/iran-diplomat-under-fire-for-antiisrael-speech-in-auckland