France slams Khamenei's 'Zionist cancer' remark
France said on Monday that claims by Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei that a "Zionist cancer" was gnawing into the lives of Islamic nations were "profoundly shocking."
"These declarations are profoundly shocking and we firmly condemn them," said a foreign ministry spokeswoman, adding that the remarks "reflect the intolerance of the current leaders of Iran."
"They unfortunately can be added to a long list of hateful declarations by (Iranian President) Mahmoud Ahmadinejad," Christine Fages told reporters. "It is a sad day for the Iranian people, who we know do not share this attitude."
Khamenei, who has the final decision in all of Iran's national issues, blasted arch-foe Israel, Western powers and foreign media networks in a sermon on Sunday for the Muslim festival of Eid al-Fitr.
The annual Quds (Jerusalem) Day rally held across Iran on Friday, he said, was a "day of loud and clear shouts" against this "deadly cancer of Zionism which is gnawing into the lives of the Islamic nations."
His anti-Israel remarks came two days after the Quds Day rally during which President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had also slammed Israel and repeated his controversial belief that the Holocaust was a "myth".