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Friday, December 14, 2007

Iran reformists ridicule Ahmadinejad for Holocaust denial

 Last update - 20:15 14/12/2007       
Reformist Iranian opposition slams Ahmadinejad's Holocaust denial
The Iranian opposition on Friday labeled President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's denial of the Holocaust "political adventurism," saying to unnecessarily harmed Iran's international standing.
"It was totally unnecessary political adventurism by the president, which harmed the country," Abdollah Nasseri, the spokesman of the Reformist Coalition Headquarters (RCH), told reporters in Tehran.
Ahmadinejad's remarks that Israel should be wiped out from the Islamic world map and relocated to either Europe or America and his reference to the Holocaust as a "fairy tale" led to widespread international protests in the last two years and even condemnation by the United Nations in January 2007.
"The Holocaust is a historic event and we [reformists] do not deny it, but more important is that the issue has nothing to do with us," the spokesman said.
The RCH, initiated by former president Mohammad Khatami, is set to unite all reformist and moderate factions into one coalition to run against the ultraconservative wing of Ahmadinejad's party in the March 14 elections.
"We earned ourselves unnecessary UN condemnation [under Ahmadinejad], while during the [1997-2005] presidency of Mr. Khatami, the name of Iran was raised in the UN for its peace-promoting initiative of Dialogue Among Civilizations," said Nasseri, who was the head of state news agency IRNA during the Khatami era.
Observers in Iran have said that Ahmadinejad's anti-Israeli remarks and especially his Holocaust denial was one of the main reasons for the international antipathy towards Iran and has furthermore inflicted severe damage to the country's foreign policy apparatus.
Although Ahmadinejad has in the meantime refrained from referring to the Holocaust antagonistically, he still uses every occasion to predict the "collapse of the Zionist regime (Israel)."
He also accused the West of a double-standard, considering insults against Muslims' religious institutions as freedom of speech while making a taboo out of the Holocaust.

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