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Russia Condemns Iranian President's Holocaust Denial --> President Ahmadinejad has made several anti-Israel statements recently (AFP) 16 December 2005 -- Russia has condemned Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad's denial of the Holocaust.

In televised comments yesterday, Ahmadinejad said the Holocaust -- the systematic killing of 6 million Jews by the Nazis in World War II -- was a "myth" and called for the state of Israel to be moved "as far away as Alaska."

In response, the Russian Foreign Ministry issued a statement saying that "attempts at revising the well-known facts of World War II, including the Holocaust, are unacceptable." It also said Russia viewed Israel "as a sovereign state which has the right to live in peace and security side-by-side with its neighbors, including an independent Palestinian state."

Russia enjoys close ties with Iran and has been seeking to shield Tehran from European and U.S. pressure over its nuclear program.

Ahmadinejad's comments -- which reiterated similar comments he made last week -- provoked a fresh wave of international condemnation.


Iranian Anti-Zionism

President Ahmadinejad visiting the tomb of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in October (Fars)


Each year in Iran, the last Friday of Ramadan is celebrated as Qods (Jerusalem) Day, officially a day for expressing solidarity with the Palestinian people.
"I have been notifying the Muslims of the danger posed by the usurper Israel," Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, father of Iran's Islamic Revolution, said in an August 1979 announcement. "I ask all the Muslims of the world and the Muslim governments to join together to sever the hand of this usurper and its supporters...and, through a ceremony demonstrating the solidarity of Muslims worldwide, announce their support for the legitimate rights of the Muslim people..." (more)


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INTERVIEW: On December 22, 2005, RFE/RL's Radio Farda spoke with FRED ZEIDMAN, director of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. Zeidman commented on Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad's anti-Israeli comments.


Hear the complete interview (about nine minutes):
Real Audio Windows Media

ARCHIVE: For an archive of RFE/RL's coverage of Iran, click here.