Ahmadinejad Likes Irking West With Holocaust Denial
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said he was proud that he angered Western countries by denying the Holocaust.
The Iranian president was quoted by the Iranian News Agency as saying that the angering of "professional man-slayers is a source of pride for us and will not stand in our way." He reportedly was referring to Israel and Western countries.
Speaking at a Tehran rally marking Jerusalem Day, when the Iranian regime expresses solidarity with the Palestinians, Ahmadinejad said that the Holocaust was a "lie" and that Israel's days were "numbered" and its regime was "dying."
"The pretext for establishing the Zionist regime is a lie," he said, "a lie which relies on an unreliable claim, a mythical claim and the occupation of Palestine."
Referring to Western leaders, he said, "They launched the myth of the Holocaust. They lied, they put on a show and then they support the Jews."
The government-funded Press TV quoted Ahmadinejad as saying that Israel needs to be confronted because its existence "amounts to an eternal insecurity in the region."
Ahmadinejad's speech was given before he traveled to New York to address the United Nations General Assembly, and before Iran launches its dialogue with the West under an Obama administration initiative.
In another development, a New York hotel canceled a banquet it was scheduled to host after learning that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was slated to speak.
The New York Helmsley Hotel announced that the event, booked by an Iranian student group, would not be held at its facility, the New York Post reported. The hotel said it was unaware that Ahmadinejad would be there until informed by the group United Against a Nuclear Iran.
"As soon as Helmsley corporate management learned of the possibility of either the Iranian Mission or President Ahmadinejad holding a function at the New York Helmsley Hotel, they immediately ordered the cancellation of that function," said Howard Rubenstein, spokesman for Helmsley Properties.
"Neither the Iranian Mission nor President Ahmadinejad is welcome at any Helmsley facility. The Helmsley organization is grateful to United Against Nuclear Iran for bringing this matter to its attention so that appropriate action could be taken."
United Against Nuclear Iran is a nonpartisan, broad-based coalition whose advisory council includes Council on Foreign Relations president emeritus Leslie Gelb; former Bush administration official Karen Hughes; former CIA director R. James Woolsey; and Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations chairman Alan Solow. Its president, Mark Wallace, is a Republican lawyer who formerly worked at the U.S. mission to the United Nations.