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Anti-Semitism is as big a threat to European Jewry as a nuclear Iran, Moshe Kantor said after meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The president of the European Jewish Congress, following his meeting Wednesday with Putin, told JTA, “To my understanding these two bombs are equally dangerous for Europe and for the Jewish street. Of course just now the Iranian threat is not so much banalized as the threat of xenophobia and anti-Semitism, and I think that it is very much a pity. It’s proof of a very weak historical memory of the young generation.”

Russia, along with China, is seen as the largest impediment to passing meaningful sanctions against Iran in the United Nations Security Council. Kantor said such sanctions are meaningless.

“Sanctions can produce only talk about new sanctions,” he said. “Sanctions without other means of convincing — diplomatic, economical, expert attempts — are not relevant.”

Kantor, who is Russian, was in Moscow this week leading the EJC’s annual Executive meeting. It marked the first time the event was held in Russia.

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