Germany plans to ask the UN Security Council to punish Iran for remarks made by its president questioning the reality of the Holocaust, a senior government official says in an interview to be published Sunday.
Ahmadinejad's comments have triggered international condemnation
"We are looking at (possible) measures at the level of the UN," Thomas de Maizieres, chief of staff of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, told the Welt am Sonntag newspaper.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has caused international outrage with a series of anti-Israeli and anti-Jewish remarks, in the course of which he has said Israel -- described as a tumor -- should be wiped off the map, or moved to Europe, and cast doubt on whether the mass extermination of Jews in Nazi Germany ever happened.
But, de Maizieres said, Germany would only take such a step if there was "clear" agreement from its European Union partners.
He said he thought the proposal by Green European Parliament member Daniel Cohn-Bendit and others that Iran should be kicked out of the soccer World Cup to be held in Germany next year was "an interesting idea."
The sport's governing body FIFA rejected the suggestion Thursday.
Jeopardizes Iran-EU talks
Steinmeier says the comments will make negotiations between Europe and Iran more difficult
German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier writes in the Sunday newspaper Bild am Sonntag that Ahmadinejad's remarks jeopardize talks between Iran and the EU on nuclear issues.
"After the comments by the Iranian president, discussions on nuclear matters between Europeans and Iran are going to become difficult," according to Steinmeier. "The world needs verifiable guarantees that Iran is not seeking to procure the nuclear bomb," he writes, adding that there is a danger that "Iran isolates itself completely on the international scene."
On Friday, the Bundestag, Germany's lower house of parliament, unanimously condemned Ahmadinejad's remarks as "incompatible with the standards of the international community."