Fury at Iranian president's Holocaust denial

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The Independent Online

Iran's president questioned whether the Holocaust took place and said that Israel should be moved to Europe, leading to a barrage of international criticism.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said: "Some European countries insist on saying that Hitler killed millions of innocent Jews in furnaces ... Although we don't accept this claim, if we suppose it is true ... Let's give some land to the Zionists in Europe or in Germany or Austria.

"They faced injustice in Europe, so why do the repercussions fall on the Palestinians?"

Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said President Ahmadinejad's remarks "have no place in civilised political debate" and condemned them "unreservedly", while German Chancellor Angela Merkel said they were "totally unacceptable".

"With our historical responsibility in mind, I can only say that we reject them in the harshest possible terms," she said. Both Israel and the United States said the comments were evidence as to why Iran should be stopped from developing nuclear weapons. Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom said: "We should do everything we can ... to stop the Iranian effort to develop a nuclear bomb."

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