Brussels, Belgium Iran could face sanctions if it keeps provoking Israel and the West, European leaders warned today, even as the Tehran regime's interior minister said the Iranian president's remarks had been "misunderstood."
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad aggravated tensions with the West this week by calling the Holocaust a "myth," a statement that came two months after he called for Israel to be "wiped off the map."
European leaders said Ahmadinejad's remarks were the latest "provocative political moves" from Tehran since May.
"These comments are wholly unacceptable and have no place in civilized political debate," the leaders said in a summit statement today. EU leaders warned Tehran they would review diplomatic options for possible sanctions against Iran.
The condemnation came as Iran prepares to resume talks Wednesday with European envoys over its nuclear program, which the EU and United States fear is intended to build atomic weapons. Envoys from Britain, Germany and France are trying to get Tehran to halt uranium enrichment.
EU leaders warned that the bloc was losing patience in mediating the standoff. "The window of opportunity will not remain open indefinitely."
The leaders said they were "gravely concerned at Iran's failure to build confidence that its nuclear program is exclusively peaceful," adding that recent decisions to resume work on enriching uranium "only add to the EU's profound concerns about Iran's intentions."