Jewish leader 'ready to go to Iran' for talks
29 June 2006, BERLIN - A leader of the World Jewish Congress, Rabbi Israel Singer, said Wednesday he was ready to go to Iran for talks if invited by the country's Jewish community.
29 June 2006
BERLIN - A leader of the World Jewish Congress, Rabbi Israel Singer, said Wednesday he was ready to go to Iran for talks if invited by the country's Jewish community.
"Yes, we would go there," said Singer speaking at a World Jewish Congress meeting in Berlin. He added that any invitation would have to come from members of Iran's Jewish minority.
Asked by reporters if he was willing to have talks with the government in Tehran, Singer said: "Sometimes things develop - but that's not developing now."
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has repeatedly cast doubt on the Holocaust and threatened to destroy Israel.
Singer, who is chairman of the Policy Council of the World Jewish Congress (WJC), nevertheless indicated he could imagine talks with Iranian leaders "in cooperation with the Jewish community."
The WJC had an obligation to Jews living anywhere in the world, he stressed. There are about 25,000 Jews living in Iran.
But Charlotte Knobloch, the head of Germany's Central Council of Jews, took a much tougher line with the Iranian government.
Knobloch, who survived the Nazi Third Reich while a child by going into hiding, underlined that denying the Holocaust is a crime under German law.
Tehran, she said, would first have to formally reverse its remarks before there could be any talks with Iranian leaders.
Earlier this month, Knobloch slammed President Ahmadinejad as "a second Hitler."
The World Jewish Congress is an international federation of Jewish communities representing Jews from around the world. Its website describes it as serving "as the diplomatic arm of the Jewish people to world governments and international organizations."
Subject: German news