Friday, December 16, 2005

Iran: Holocaust Denial Is Government Policy


Tehran, 16 Dec. (AKI) - Iran's foreign minister Manouchehr Mottaki said Friday that remarks made earlier this week by the country's president that the Nazi mass murder of Jews during World War II was a "myth" was the official Iranian government's position on the issue. "The words of [president] Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on the Holocaust and on Israel are not personal opinions, nor isolated statements but they express the view of the [Iranian] government," Mottaki said. Ahmadinejad made the Holocaust remarks on Wednesday while it was in October he said Israel should be "wiped off the map."

"The Palestinians or Islamic nations can not be forced to pay for the injustices the Europeans believe they committed against the Jews," the minister said speaking at Tehran airport after a visit to Pakistan.

"The Europeans have to understand that the current Iranian government doesn't have any intention to play the role of someone who listens without having the right to reply," he said adding that if Europe wants to have relations with Iran "it has to learn to listen to our opinions and take them into account."

Europe's dialogue with Iran, Mottaki said - apparently referring to negotiations by Britain, France and Germany to persuade Iran to shelf its uranium enrichment plans - can only take place in "a climate which is not influenced by Zionism".


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