Winston Peters responds to Brownlee’s comments
Foreign Minister Rt Hon Winston Peters responds to Hon Gerry Brownlee’s comment:
“On becoming Foreign Minister and upon learning of the Iranian Diplomat’s comments in June of this year, the following press statement was released by my ministry:
‘We are aware of the reported comments which were made at an event several months ago.
‘Clearly, we do not agree. These comments will be deeply offensive to many people in New Zealand and elsewhere. Following the publication, we called in the Iranian Ambassador to express our disappointment at the participation in the event by a diplomat from the Iranian Embassy. Although the diplomat’s remarks focused on Iranian government policy, we have made it clear to the Ambassador that we do not expect foreign representatives to New Zealand to participate in events where hate speech could be used.
‘New Zealand continues to encourage a constructive dialogue between Iran and the international community.’
“I am alarmed that Mr Brownlee is seeking to chastise me for an action that he should have taken months before the election.
“We are heading into a new era and looking positively towards the future, and I can’t possibly fix up every mistake and omission that the last National Government has made.”