Da Ha'aretz del 14/12/2005
Originale su http://www.haaretzdaily.com/hasen/pages/ShArtVty.jhtml?itemNo=657820

Iranian President Ahmadinejad says Holocaust 'myth' was created by Europeans

TEHRAN - Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Wednesday that the Holocaust was a myth, reiterating a view that has caused international uproar and drawn a rebuke from the United Nations Security Council.

Among other international responses, the German government said Chancellor Angela Merkel would call on the European Union to press for international condemnation of the comments at the United Nations.

The Iranian president said the Europeans have used the "myth" of the Holocaust to create a Jewish state in the heart of the Islamic world. Wednesday was the first occasion when he said in public that the Holocaust was a myth.

"They have fabricated a legend under the name 'Massacre of the Jews', and they hold it higher than God Himself, religion itself and the prophets themselves," he told a crowd in the southeastern city of Zahedan.

His speech was broadcast live on state television.

Touring southeast Iran, Ahmadinejad said that if Europeans insist the Holocaust did happen, then it was they who were responsible and they should pay the price.

"If you committed this big crime, then why should the oppressed Palestinian nation pay the price?" Ahmadinejad asked rhetorically.

"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 (Jews) so that the Jews can establish their country," he said, developing a theme he raised in Saudi Arabia last week.

"If your civilization consists of unjust acts, oppression and poverty for the majority of the globe to provide your own people welfare, then we shout at the top of our voices that we hate your frail civilization," he said, to rapturous cries of "God is Greatest" from the crowd.


Israel condemned Ahmadinejad's remarks Wednesday. Foreign Ministry spokesman Mark Regev said: "The repeated outrageous remarks of the Iranian president show clearly the mind-set of the ruling clique in Tehran and indicate clearly the extremist policy goals of the regime.

"The combination of fanatical ideology, a warped sense of reality and nuclear weapons is a combination that no one in the international community can accept," Regev added, referring to allegations that Iran is developing nuclear bombs.

Merkel is set to call on the EU to press for international condemnation of the comments at the United Nations.

Berlin is hoping for "a clear signal of the strongest disapproval" from this week's European Union summit, Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

At the same meeting, Merkel will talk to Germany's European partners about bringing the matter up at the United Nations "to obtain a clear condemnation, a sharp rejection of these comments by the international community," government spokesman Thomas Steg said.
Steg said Merkel, at a Cabinet meeting, described Ahmadinejad's latest outburst as "unbelievable."

He gave no direct answer when asked whether further measures against Iran might be considered, but stressed that the comments are "a European and an international problem."

Any "further measures should ... be discussed together with our European partners and in the international community," he said.

Germany's foreign minister described as "shocking and unacceptable" Wednesday the Iranian president's description of the Holocaust as a "myth," warning that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's comments weighed on relations and on talks over Iran's nuclear program.

Steinmeier said his government had summoned the charge d'affaires at the Iranian Embassy and made "unmistakeably clear" its displeasure.

"I cannot hide the fact that this weighs on bilateral relations and on the chances for the negotiation process, the so-called nuclear dossier," he told parliament's foreign affairs committee.

In Brussels, European Commission spokeswoman Emma Udwin said such "completely unacceptable" comments would do nothing to restore confidence in Iran. "We feel very strongly that Iran is damaging its own interests with these kind of remarks," she said.


Last week, Ahmadinejad also expressed doubt that the Holocaust took place, and suggested Israel be moved to Europe.

His comments, reported by Iran's official IRNA news agency from a news conference he gave in Mecca, followed his October call for Israel to be "wiped off the map," which sparked widespread international condemnation.

"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 jail," IRNA quoted Ahmadinejad as saying.

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