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Iranian President Ahmadinejad at a military parade, September 2005 (epa)
12 December 2005 -- Germany says it will ask leaders attending an EU summit this week to sign up to a joint declaration condemning Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad's latest comments on Israel.
The announcement was made on 12 December by a spokesman of the German government, who said Ahmadinejad's words were "terrible and unacceptable."
In remarks last week, Ahmadinejad cast doubt on the extent of the Holocaust and called on Israel to be "relocated" to European soil. The United Nations and many world leaders condemned the remarks.
In October, the Iranian president said Israel should be wiped off the map.
The EU summit takes place in Brussels on 15-16 December.
INSIDE THE ISLAMIC REPUBLIC: Iran is a theocratic Islamic republic governed under a 1979 constitution that was revised in 1989, when presidential powers were expanded and the prime minister's post was abolished.
Appointed -- not elected -- offices and bodies hold the real power in the government. The supreme leader, who serves as a chief of state would, is appointed for life by an Islamic religious advisory board that is called the Assembly of Experts. The supreme leader oversees the military as well as the judiciary and appoints members of the Guardians Council and the Expediency Council.
The Guardians Council -- some of whose members are appointed by the judiciary and approved by the parliament -- works closely with the government and must approve political candidates and legislation passed by the parliament. The Expediency Council is responsible for resolving legislative disputes that may arise between parliament and the Guardians Council over legislation.
The president, who is popularly elected for a four-year term, serves as the head of government. The legislative branch is made up of a 290-seat body called the Majlis, whose members are elected by popular vote for four-year terms...(more)
RFE/RL's coverage of Iran