AFP: The White House on Wednesday assailed as “outrageous” Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s comments dismissing the Holocaust as a myth and saying Israel should be cut from the Middle East. WASHINGTON, Dec 14 (AFP) – The White House on Wednesday assailed as “outrageous” Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s comments dismissing the Holocaust as a myth and saying Israel should be cut from the Middle East.
“I think all responsible leaders in the international community recognize how outrageous such comments are,” spokesman Scott McClellan said of the hardline leader’s latest outburst against Israel.
The outspoken president also vowed Iran would not compromise “one iota” on its nuclear program, which Washington has charged is cover for an effort to acquire atomic weapons. Tehran denies the allegation.
“We have a number of concerns about the regime in Iran, and one of the concerns at the top of the list is their interest in pursuing nuclear weapons,” McClellan told reporters.
“His comments and statements only underscore why it is so important that the international community continue to work together to keep Iran from developing nuclear weapons,” said the spokesman.
McClellan noted that the UN Security Council last week condemned the Iranian leader’s previous rhetorical broadside, in which he questioned the Holocaust and suggested that the “tumor” of Israel be relocated to Europe.
But Ahmadinejad, in a speech carried live on state television, charged Wednesday that “they have invented a myth that Jews were massacred and place this above God, religions and the prophets.”
“If somebody in their country questions God, nobody says anything, but if somebody denies the myth of the massacre of Jews, the Zionist loudspeakers and the governments in the pay of Zionism will start to scream,” he said.
“Our proposal is this: Give a piece of your land in Europe, the United States, Canada or Alaska so they (the Jews) can create their own state.”
His comments drew swift condemnation from the European Union and Iran’s arch-enemy Israel — already alarmed over Tehran’s nuclear ambitions and ballistic missile program.
Ahmadinejad, a hardcore Islamic revolutionary who won a shock election victory in June, has already sparked international outrage over a string of anti-Israeli outbursts.
In October, he said Israel “must be wiped off the map,” and last week he said Israel was a “tumor” that should be moved to Germany or Austria.
But his latest comments remove any doubt that he also backs revisionist historians — often branded in the West as neo-Nazis — who maintain Nazi Germany’s systematic slaughter of an estimated six million Jews between 1933 and 1945 never took place.
“Why, under the pretext of this massacre, have you come to the heart of Palestine and the Islamic world, … why have you created an artificial Zionist regime?” he asked.
In a sharp response, Israeli foreign ministry spokesman Mark Regev told AFP that Ahmadinejad’s comments reflect a “perverse vision of the world held by this regime and underline the danger should such an extremist regime have a nuclear capacity in the future.”
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s spokesman also said menacingly: “Thank God Israel has the means at its disposal to bring about the downfall of this extremist regime in Iran.”
“There will be no second ‘final solution,'” Raanan Gissin said.