Iranian president calls for impartial probe of Holocaust

By The Associated Press


Sivan 21, 5766

Iran's president on Friday questioned evidence of the Holocaust, calling it an unproven fact that needed to be verified.

"I think we have sufficiently talked about this matter and these Holocaust events need to be further investigated by independent and impartial parties," Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said at a news conference following a meeting with China's president.

"An event that has influenced so many diplomatic and political equations of the world needs to investigated and researched by impartial and independent groups," he said.

Ahmadinejad, who is accused by Israel and some in the West of attempting to develop the nuclear capabilities, has previously dismissed the Holocaust as a "myth" and said Israel should be "wiped off the map."

At the news conference, Ahmadinejad indicated that he would continue to view Israel as illegitimate, regardless of a verdict on the Holocaust.

"If it is true, then the response to this question should not be solved in Palestine. The Palestinian question should be settled as soon as possible," Ahmadinejad said.

"If it is false, why should such measures be taken against the people of Palestine?" he added.

Ahmadinejad's earlier comments prompted a group of Israeli lawmakers and former diplomats to announce plans to sue him in the International Court of Justice on charges of conspiring to commit genocide.

Iran is currently home to about 25,000 Jews who are represented by a Jewish lawmaker in parliament. About 75,000 left the country after the 1979 Islamic revolution.