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Russia Condemns Iranian President's Holocaust Denial

16 December 2005 -- Russia has condemned Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad's denial of the Holocaust.

In televised comments yesterday, Ahmadinejad said the Holocaust -- the systematic killing of 6 million Jews by the Nazis in World War II -- was a "myth" and called for the state of Israel to be moved "as far away as Alaska."

In response, the Russian Foreign Ministry issued a statement saying that "attempts at revising the well-known facts of World War II, including the Holocaust, are unacceptable." It also said Russia viewed Israel "as a sovereign state which has the right to live in peace and security side-by-side with its neighbors, including an independent Palestinian state."

Russia enjoys close ties with Iran and has been seeking to shield Tehran from European and U.S. pressure over its nuclear program.

Ahmadinejad's comments -- which reiterated similar comments he made last week -- provoked a fresh wave of international condemnation.


Copyright (c) 2005. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036. www.rferl.org

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