UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan expressed shock at the Iranian leader's remarks, noting in a written statement that only last month the UN General Assembly passed a resolution rejecting any denial of the Holocaust of the Jews as an historical event.
U.S. State Department spokesman Adam Ereli called Ahmadinejad's remarks “appalling and reprehensible” and said “they certainly don't inspire hope among any of us in the international community that the government of Iran is prepared to engage as a responsible member of that community."
White House spokesman Scott McClellan said the remarks again show why the United States believes Iran should be prevented from gaining the capacity to develop nuclear weapons.
British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, speaking on behalf of the 25 members of the European Union, called Ahmadinejad's remarks "wholly unacceptable" and said "they have no place in civilized political debate."
Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom said Ahmadinejad appears committed to the destruction of Israel and that the world should unite to stop him and prevent Iran from developing a nuclear bomb.
The Iranian president, who in October said Israel should be "wiped off the map," made his new remarks at an Islamic summit in the Saudi city of Mecca, the birthplace of Islam.