Iranian ambassador questions Holocaust

in News · 18-02-2006 00:00:00 · 0 Comments

In an interview with Antenna 1 radio on Wednesday, Iran’s Ambassador to Portugal told listeners it would have taken the Nazis 15 years to burn the corpses of six million people, a comment which is an accordance with denials of the Holocaust emanating from his country.

The remarks made by Ambassador Mohammed Taheri sparked a swift reaction from the Portuguese Foreign Ministry.
The Ambassador was summoned to Necessidades Palace, where the director of internal policy handed over a statement signed by the Foreign Minister, Freitas do Amaral, expressing his government’s disagreement with the comments he made on Antenna 1.
During the interview, the Iranian Ambassador said: “When I was ambassador in Warsaw, I visited Auschwitz and Birkenau twice and made my calculations. In order to incinerate six million people, they have would needed 15 years".
The Ambassador further questioned the criticism received after his President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad called for a conference of historians and scientists to discuss what happened in the Holocaust.
Ambassador Taheri, regarding the publication by European newspapers of cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad, said he believed it be an Israeli conspiracy aimed at causing conflict between Christians and Muslims.
Meanwhile, the Portuguese government’s reaction to the Ambassador’s comments stressed that “such declarations seriously offend the collective consciousness of humanity, and especially that of Jewish communities spread across the world whose feelings demand the same respect that the Portuguese government has given to Islamic people”.
The statement went further by protesting against the attacks on EU embassies in Tehran and the “negative attitude” of Iran in relation to the International Nuclear Agency, a position that was supported by the Prime Minister and the President.
Despite the hard line response of the Portuguese government, sources have denied that the Iranian Ambassador be considered a ‘persona non grata’ by national authorities.


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