Tevet 3, 5766
Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad,
who sparked international condemnation by calling the Holocaust a "myth",
has likened Zionism to
fascism and said Israel was created in order to expel Jews from Europe.
Analysts have said Ahmadinejad's frequent anti-Israel comments are aimed at boosting his standing at home and in the Islamic world. Diplomats say his remarks have hardened Western attitudes towards Iran's nuclear programme.
In written answers to questions from the public reproduced in several newspapers on Monday, Ahmadinejad said the creation of Israel after World War Two had "killed two birds with one stone" for Europe.
The objectives achieved by Europe were: "Sweeping the Jews out of Europe and at the same time creating a European appendix with a Zionist and anti-Islamic nature in the heart of the Islamic world," he said.
"Zionism is a Western ideology and a colonialist idea ... and right now it massacres Muslims with direct guidance and help from the United States and a part of Europe ... Zionism is basically a new (form of) fascism," he added.
The former Revolutionary Guardsman again questioned why research and debate over how many Jews died in the Holocaust was taboo and asked, if it was true that millions of Jews were killed by Germany: "Why shouldn't Europe pay the price as the main culprit of the crime?"
Ahmadinejad has previously suggested that Israel should be moved to Europe or North America.