Tevet 2, 5766
TEHRAN, Iran - Hard-line
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who once said that the attempt to
eradicate Jews in the Holocaust was "myth," has now charged that European
countries sought to complete the genocide by establishing Israel, a Jewish
state in the midst of Muslim countries.
The latest in a series of anti-Semitic comments by the Iranian leader in the past few months comes on the heels of Iran's announcement it has developed equipment to separate uranium from its ore - a piece of equipment other countries were reluctant to sell to Iran because the machinery can be used in the process of making nuclear weapons.
"Don't you think that continuation of genocide by expelling Jews from Europe was one of [the Europeans'] aims in creating a regime of occupiers of [Jerusalem]?" the official Islamic Republic News agency quoted Ahmadinejad as saying.
"Isn't that an important question?"
Ahmadinejad said Europeans had decided to create a "Jewish camp" as the best means for ridding the continent of Jews and said the camp, Israel, now enjoyed support from the United States and Europe in what he termed the slaughter of Muslims.
Last month, Ahmadinejad said the Holocaust, in which Nazi Germany killed six million Jews, was a myth. After global outrage over the comments, he said that Europeans, if they persisted in reality of the slaughter, should cede some of their territory for a Jewish state.
In October, Ahmadinejad called for Israel to be "wiped off the map."
The fiery Iranian president said anti-Semitic sentiment was a strong and long-term European tradition while Jews had lived peacefully among Muslim for centuries.
Iran develops uranium separation machinery
Iran said it has produced equipment for separating uranium from its ore, a fresh development in Tehran's drive to control the nuclear-fuel cycled from mining uranium to enriching it for use in atomic reactors, state television reported Sunday.
The broadcast claimed the "settler-mixer" was a device capable of separating uranium from its ore, and said it was "greatly effective for producing uranium," quoting Amir Hossein Farhadi, a researcher for Iran's Atomic Energy Organization.
"Foreign countries were not ready to sell [the equipment] to Iran since it could be applicable in the [nuclear-fuel producing] cycle," Farhadi was quoted as saying.
The nuclear program is a source of national pride in Iran, which seeks self-sufficiency, despite international pressure for it do give up its nuclear ambitions, which Washington claims are designed to produce atomic weapons. Iran claims the program is solely for generating electricity.
The United States has pushed for Iran to be taken before the United Nations Security Council, where it could face economic sanctions over the dispute.