Ahmadinejad: Courting controversy

Since his election in June 2005, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Iran's President, has stirred international outrage with a series of controversial statements on key policy issues, particularly regarding Israel.

    Ahmadinejad's statements have frequently made headlines

    The following are some of his key quotes:
     
    ISRAEL AND THE HOLOCAUST

    "They have fabricated a legend under the name 'Massacre of the Jews', and they hold it higher than God himself, religion itself and the prophets themselves"

    Addressing a rally in the southeastern city of Zahedan on 14 December.

    "Israel must be wiped off the map ... The Islamic world will not let its historic enemy live in its heartland."

    Addressing a conference on The World without Zionism, in Tehran on 26 October.

    "Some European countries insist on saying that Hitler killed millions of innocent Jews in furnaces ... Although we don't accept this claim...If the Europeans are honest they should give some of their provinces in Europe -- like in Germany, Austria or other countries -- to the Zionists and the Zionists can establish their state in Europe."

    Addressing a news conference in Mecca on 8 December.
     
    IRAN'S NUCLEAR PROGRAMME

    "(They) are not only refusing to remedy their past deeds but in clear breach of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, are trying to prevent other countries from acquiring the technology to produce peaceful nuclear energy."

    In his speech to the UN General Assembly on 17 September.
     
    "You are telling us we can't produce nuclear fuel, that we will give it to you. You who imposed medical embargoes on nations that caused the death of countless numbers of people, what guarantees are there that you will give us nuclear fuel?"

    At a news conference in Makka, 8 December.
     
    SOCIAL AND POLITICAL FREEDOMS

    "We did not have a revolution in order to have a democracy ... People think a return to revolutionary values is only a matter of wearing the headscarf ... The country's true problem is employment and housing, not what to wear."

    During the presidential campaign in June

    SOURCE: Reuters


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