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Ahmadinejad Repeats Assertion That Israel Will Be 'Wiped Out'

President Ahmadinejad (left) at the Holocaust conference on December 12 (Fars) December 13, 2006 -- Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad has said Israel will be one day be "wiped out" just like the Soviet Union was.

Ahmadinejad's comments on December 12 drew applause from participants in an international conference casting doubt on the Nazi Holocaust during World War II.

"I want to tell [Western counties] that just as the Soviet Union was wiped out and does not exist anymore, so will the Zionist regime soon be wiped out and humanity will be free."

Ahmadinejad's remarks are expected to further fuel the Western outcry sparked by Tehran's hosting of the two-day gathering, which has gathered some of Europe and the United States' most well-known Holocaust deniers.

The United States called the remarks "outrages," while German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the conference highlighted "how dangerous Israel's situation is."

Iran does not recognize the state of Israel, and Ahmadinejad has suggested that the Holocaust was invented to justify Israel's existence in the Middle East.

(compiled from agency reports)

Iranian Anti-Zionism

Iranian Anti-Zionism

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


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"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.