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December 9, 2005
Introduction by ZIIC - The antipathy of the Iranian regime to Zionism and Israel has never been a secret, but it was not until the "World without Zionism" congress held in Iran, in anticipation of Al-Qods (Jerusalem) day, that extremist President Ahmadinejad announced the goal of wiping Israel off the map - "a World Without Zionism - and without America". Now he has continued in the same vein, broadcasting Holocaust denial and racism at the Organization of Islamic Congress meeting in Riyadh. President Ahmadinejad's statements drew condemnation from most of the non-Arab world, but as yet, nobody except Israel and possibly the USA is really alarmed at the prospect that this man will in all likelihood, soon have nuclear weapons.
Iran's Ahmadinejad casts doubt on Holocaust
By Paul Hughes
TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Thursday expressed doubt the Holocaust took place and suggested the Jewish state of Israel be moved to Europe.
His comments, reported by Iran's official IRNA news agency from a news conference he gave in the Saudi Arabian city of Mecca, follow his call in October for Israel to be "wiped off the map", which sparked widespread international outrage.
The latest comments also provoked quick condemnation. German Chancellor Angela Merkel called them "totally unacceptable" and British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said "I condemn them unreservedly. They have no place in civilised political debate."
Ahmadinejad was quoted by IRNA as saying: "Some European countries insist on saying that Hitler killed millions of innocent Jews in furnaces and they insist on it to the extent that if anyone proves something contrary to that they condemn that person and throw them in
"Although we don't accept this claim, if we suppose it is true, our question for the Europeans is: is the killing of innocent Jewish people by Hitler the reason for their support to the occupiers of Jerusalem?" he said.
"If the Europeans are honest they should give some of their provinces in Europe -- like in Germany, Austria or other countries -- to the Zionists and the Zionists can establish their state in Europe. You offer part of Europe and we will support it."
Historians say six million Jews were killed at the hands of Germany's 1933-1945 Nazi regime. Ahmadinejad's remarks drew swift rebukes from Israel and Washington.
ISRAEL, WASHINGTON RESPOND
Raanan Gissin, a spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, said in Tel Aviv Ahmadinejad was
voicing "the consensus that exists in many circles in the Arab world that the Jewish people ... do not have the right to
establish a Jewish, democratic state in their ancestral homeland".
"Just to remind Mr. Ahmadinejad, we've been here long before his ancestors were here," Gissin said. "Therefore, we have a birthright to be here in the land of our forefathers and to live here. Thank God we have the capability to deter and to prevent such a statement from becoming a reality."
White House spokesman Scott McClellan said: "It just further underscores our concerns about the regime in Iran and it's all the more reason why it's so important that the regime not have the ability to develop nuclear weapons."
A news conference with French President Jacques Chirac near Berlin, Merkel also said: "With our historical responsibility in mind, I can only say that we reject them (Ahmadinejad's comments) in the harshest possible terms.
"We will do everything to make it clear that Israel's right to existence is in no way endangered. I am firmly convinced that a majority in the international community has a similar opinion on this issue," she said.Chirac said he agreed completely.
Religious hardliners in Iran do not publicly deny the Holocaust occurred but say its scale has been exaggerated to justify the creation of Israel and continued Western support for it.
Close allies when Iran was ruled by the U.S.-backed Shah, Iran and Israel have become implacable foes since Iran's 1979 Islamic revolution.
Israel accuses Iran of giving arms and funding to militant Palestinian groups such as Islamic Jihad and of building nuclear weapons. Iran
denies the charges.
Tehran calls Israel a "terrorist state" and has developed missiles which can reach it. It says it would use them if Israel, itself believed to be nuclear armed, tried to bomb Iranian nuclear facilities.
(Additional reporting by Jeffrey Heller in Jerusalem)
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