Alex Salmond has come under attack for using his new role representing the UK in Europe to issue a rebuke to the Israeli parliament on Holocaust Memorial Day.
The former First Minister told the Council of Europe that it was “inappropriate” for a senior Israeli representative at a Holocaust commemoration service to criticise the presence of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in France.
But his dressing down came the same day as Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of Iran, published a video questioning whether the Holocaust “is a reality or not”.
The Ayatollah’s website promoted the video with a banner across its home page, featuring a montage of images, including one of Adolf Hitler.
Mr Salmond, who recently returned from a trip to Iran, told the Strasbourg meeting that there was a “time and place for international politics” and the Israeli government should not have issued the criticism “during a solemn commemoration service.”
He last night defended his actions, telling the Telegraph that everyone he had spoken to who also attended the council’s commemoration service on Wednesday morning agreed that the “political” attack in the Israeli speech was wrong.
However, experienced figures from other parties questioned his judgment on the international stage and claimed his comments created the impression of him being an unofficial spokesman for the Iranian regime.
Mr Salmond was criticised for grandstanding during his Iran visit last month during which it was reported he told a Tehran-based news agency that Scotland’s “ruling party has always been against the decisions Westerners make against Iran.”
Source: Daily Telegraph