Excerpts from Agence France Presse:
Iran’s former reformist President Mohammad Khatami has described the
Holocaust as a “historical reality” – a stinging attack on his
controversial and revisionist  successor Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. “We
should speak out if even a single Jew is killed. Don’t forget that one
of the crimes of Hitler, Nazism and German national socialism was the
massacre of innocent people, among them many Jews,” the cleric said in
comments carried in the Iranian press  Wednesday.

The Holocaust, he asserted, should be recognized “even if this
historical reality has been misused and there is enormous pressure on
the Palestinian people.” Ahmadinejad has caused international outrage
by insisting the Holocaust was a myth used to justify the creation of

Khatami served as Iran’s president from 1997 to 2005, and attempted to
open up Iran to the West and initiate a “dialogue among civilizations”
– in stark contrast to the ultra-conservative agenda of Ahmadinejad.
The former president, who has shied away from the political limelight
since leaving office, also asserted Muslims were not out to persecute

“The persecution of Jews, just like Nazism, is a Western phenomenon. In
the east, we have always lived side by side with them. And we follow a
religion that states that the death of an innocent person is the death
of all of humanity,” Khatami said…

Ahmadinejad also came under attack from the prominent and centrist
Shargh newspaper, which complained that “the Holocaust has, as wished
for by the president, become a topic of our foreign policy. The Jewish
question was never a problem for Iran or Islam, and is a
Christian-European problem,” the paper argued. “Don’t we have enough
with the nuclear question, human rights, free elections and political
in-fighting, so do we need to add another problem to that?” it said,
saying Iran would be better off “thinking of the creation of a
Palestinian state rather than the destruction of Israel.”

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