(JTA) — An Iranian vice president blamed "Zionists" for the global drug trade and said the Talmud encourages promoting addiction in non-Jewish communities.
Mohammad Reza Rahimi, Iran’s first vice-president, made the comments Tuesday during ceremonies marking the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking in Tehran. He said evidence of the Zionists’ direct involvement in illicit drugs is the fact that "you cannot find a single addict among the Zionists," the semi-official Iranian FARS news service reported.
Referring to the Talmud, he said, "The book teaches them how to destroy non-Jews so as to protect an embryo in the womb of a Jewish mother."
European diplomats were among those in attendence at the United Nations-sponsored ceremony.
Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman condemned the speech and added that "Hitler said crazy things too – and he was able to execute his plan."
The Anti-Defamation League called on U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to immediately condemn the incendiary anti-Semitic and conspiracy-laden speech.
"To all those who thought that anti-Semitism is a thing of the past, certainly this makes it very clear that it is alive and well again," ADL National Director Abe Foxman said in a statement. "What makes it more sinister and dangerous is the fact that it comes from a leader of a country that has vowed to destroy the Jewish state and is making efforts to obtain the means to do it."