Tehran says questions about Holocaust part of 'scholarly debate'
Tehran Times Political Desk 19 December 2005
TEHRAN – The Foreign Ministry said on Sunday that the view expressed by President Mahmud Ahmadinejad that there are some doubts about the Jewish Holocaust is not something new and is a matter of "scholarly debate".
Some leading historians have written books arguing that the Zionists are exaggerating the number of Jews killed during the Second World War when they say that six million Jews were massacred.
"The type of response from the Europeans to the theoretical and scholarly debate of Mr. Ahmadinejad has no place in the civilized world and is totally emotional and illogical," Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid-Reza Asefi told reporters at his weekly press briefing.
Asefi said he was surprised over the intensity of the criticism now directed at the Iranian president.
Mr. Ahmadinejad initiated a scholarly debate, so the reaction is surprising, he added.
"The reaction from European officials is a sign of their total, blind support for the Zionists.
"The Europeans should get used to hearing other opinions, even if they don't like them," Asefi said.
On Thursday, December 15, in the southern city of Zahedan, the Iranian president asked why the Palestinian people should be forced to pay if it is true that Jews were massacred by Europeans.
“If you say it is true that you massacred and burned six million Jews during the Second World War, if you committed this massacre, why should the Palestinians pay the price?
“Why, under the pretext of this massacre, have you come to the heart of Palestine and the Islamic world (…), why have you created an artificial Zionist regime?”