Britain has condemned 'anti-semitic' remarks made by Iran's vice-president Mohammad-Reza Rahimi at a UN conference in Tehran.

According to The New York Times, Mr Rahimi blamed Zionists, a term used by some for Jews supporting the state of Israel, for illegal drug trade, and said that Talmud, a Jewish religious book, taught followers that they were a superior race.

He said: "The Islamic Republic of Iran will pay for anybody who can research and find one single Zionist who is an addict.

"They do not exist.

"This is the proof of their involvement in drugs trade."

He proceeded to blame the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution in Russia on Zionists, and said that they ordered gynaecologists to kill black babies.

Minister for Middle East Alastair Burt was one of numerous Western diplomats who expressed shock at Mr Rahimi's speech.

He said: "We condemn utterly the baseless comments from Iran's Vice-President Rahimi about the Talmud and the Jewish faith, made at a United Nations drugs control event in Tehran this week.

"Racism and anti-semitism are unacceptable in any circumstance, let alone at an event sponsored by the United Nations.

"We call upon Iran to correct this scandalous statement, and to ensure that its officials respect the proper international norms and standards in the future."

Mr Rahimi made the comments at the UN Office on Drugs and Crime conference in Tehran, which is attempting to combat the lucrative narcotics trafficking route that runs from Afghanistan through Iran, ending in Europe.