Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said that Israel should be moved to Europe. Speaking at a news conference in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, he also attempted to deny that the Holocaust occurred. "Some European countries insist on saying that Hitler killed millions of innocent Jews in furnaces. . . .Although we don't accept this claim, if we suppose it is true. . . .The Europeans," said Mr. Ahmadinejad, "should give some of their provinces in Europe. . . .to the Zionists and the Zionists can establish their state in Europe." In fact, Nazi Germany under dictator Adolf Hitler killed some six million European Jews along with millions of others during the Second World War.
U.S. State Department deputy spokesman Adam Ereli condemned the comments by Iran's president:
"These latest remarks which we've seen reports of are clearly both appalling and reprehensible. They certainly don't inspire hope among any of us in the international community that the government of Iran is prepared to engage as a responsible member of that community. They are again part of what appears to be a consistent pattern of rhetoric that is both hostile and out of touch with values that the rest of us in the international community live by."
In a speech in Tehran in October, President Ahmadinejad said that Israel should be "wiped off the map."
Nicholas Burns is U.S. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs. He says Mr. Ahmadinejad and his government are pursuing a "highly ideological and confrontational foreign policy that is isolating Iran":
"In September at the U.N. General Assembly, Ahmadinejad stunned the world with a combative speech in which he insisted Iran would pursue a nuclear future against the wish of most members of the General Assembly. He has turned to the alumni directory of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps command to fill many of his cabinet positions. . . .Ahmadinejad called for Israel 'to be wiped from the face of the earth' and then defended this shocking statement when the entire international community repudiated it…Through his statements and actions, President Ahmadinejad is digging a hole for himself and he appears determined to keep on digging."
White House spokesman Scott McClellan said that Mr. Ahmadinejad's latest comment about Israel "further underscores our concerns about the regime in Iran. And it's all the more reason why it's so important that the regime not have the ability to develop nuclear weapons."
The preceding was an editorial reflecting the views of the United States Government.