The United States, and many other countries, are condemning remarks made by Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Mr. Ahmadinejad erroneously says that the Holocaust, resulting in the death of six million Jews during World War Two, is a "myth." In October, Mr. Ahmadinejad said that Israel should be "wiped off the map."
Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Germany's foreign minister, says the Iranian president's remarks show "with how much irresponsibility and cynicism the Iranian government currently regards the situation of Israel and the Near East." Mr. Steinmeier says, "The government in Tehran must understand that the patience of the international community is not endless."
Mikhail Margelov is chairman of the Russian Federation Council's International Affairs Committee. He told a reporter, "The Iranian president's xenophobia discredits the co-sponsors of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, including Russia. The provoking statements made by the Iranian president," he says, "indicate that some forces in Iran, on whose behalf he is speaking, want to make a part of Iran's foreign policy what is called 'asking for trouble' in the Russian language."
And Qin Gang, a spokesman for China's foreign ministry, says, "We are not in favor of any remarks detrimental to stability and peace." He says, "Israel is a sovereign state." U.S. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack says the Iranian president's most recent Holocaust denial statement is "one more indication that Iran is headed one-hundred-eighty degrees from the rest of the world":
"This isn't the Iranian people who are headed off in a different direction and out of step with the rest of the world. This is a specific government and regime, headed by President Ahmadinajed.... It continues to support terrorism. It continues to undermine democracy in its own country. And President Ahmadinejad has yet again made what can only be characterized as outrageous remarks, denying the existence of the Holocaust, for one."
"These comments are certainly reprehensible," says State Department spokesman McCormack, "and all it does is serve to further isolate the Iranian government."
The preceding was an editorial reflecting the views of the United States Government.