Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Iran's President Clarifies His Stand on Holocaust

Iran: In one of the great headlines ever carried by the NYTIMES.

TEHRAN, Dec. 14 (AP) - President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad stepped up his anti-Israeli comments on Wednesday, calling the Holocaust a myth used by Europeans to create a Jewish state in the heart of the Islamic world. His remarks drew swift condemnations from the White House, Israel, Germany, France and the European Commission. Germany said the remarks would affect coming negotiations over Iran's nuclear program, and the European Commission president, José Manuel Barroso, said that Iranians "do not have the president, or the regime, they deserve." Last week Mr. Ahmadinejad questioned whether the Nazi killings of six million European Jews during World War II occurred and said Israel should be moved to Europe. He also provoked an international outcry in October when he called for Israel to be "wiped off the map." But Wednesday was the first time he publicly denied the Holocaust. Touring southeastern Iran, Mr. Ahmadinejad said that if Europeans insisted that the Holocaust had happened, then they were responsible and should pay the price. "Today they have created a myth in the name of Holocaust and consider it to be above God, religion and the prophets," he said, speaking to an audience of thousands of people in the southeastern city of Zahedan. "If you committed this big crime, then why should the oppressed Palestinian nation pay the price?" "This is our proposal: If you committed the crime, then give a part of your own land in Europe, the United States, Canada or Alaska to them so that the Jews can establish their country," he said, developing the theme he raised in Saudi Arabia last week.
Another amusing development but not unexpected given the readership. The apologists at the Guardian ran a blog piece on the story with open comments that were supposed to be open for two days. First comment: Posted by Ano on December 14, 2005 05:14 PM. Last comment: Posted by Ricky on December 14, 2005 05:42 PM.
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It went downhill that fast. Update# More from the Washington Post. I wonder if Chuck Hagel still wants America to talk to this guy?
"Ahmadinejad has been making these comments about Israel, and people are now beginning to take a look at their own policies about how they are going to deal with this regime," said a British official, who spoke on condition of anonymity in line with the British government's media policy. "The kind of statements that are coming from Tehran will give everyone pause for thought," the official said.

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