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U.N. condemns Holocaust denial

January 27, 2007|From the Associated Press

UNITED NATIONS — The General Assembly on Friday adopted a resolution introduced by the United States that condemns any denial of the Holocaust.

The resolution did not single out any country, but Israel and the United States both suggested that Iran should take note, especially after it provoked widespread anger last month by holding a conference aimed at casting doubt on the Nazi genocide of Jews during World War II.

Iran was the only nation to reject the measure, calling it an attempt by the U.S. and Israel to exploit the atrocity for their political interests.

Iran stood by its position that the Holocaust should be closely examined to determine its scope.

"The seriousness and sincerity of this endeavor would be indeed undermined by rendering political judgments on such events and closing the door to any inquiry on their characteristics, scope and extent," Iranian representative Hossein Gharibi said.

Israeli Ambassador Dan Gillerman made a reference to suspicions that Tehran is seeking to develop nuclear weapons.

"While the nations of the world gather here to affirm the historicity of the Holocaust with the intent of never again allowing genocide, a member of this assembly is acquiring the capabilities of carrying out its own," Gillerman said. "The president of Iran is in fact saying, 'There really was no Holocaust, but just in case, we shall finish the job.' "

Alejandro D. Wolff, acting U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, said "Iran stands alone in shame" for rejecting a resolution that was approved by consensus and sponsored by 104 countries.

The vote came on the eve of the U.N.'s International Day of Commemoration in memory of victims of the Holocaust.

Venezuela, while supporting the resolution, said Israel's "excesses under the pretext of legitimate defense has led to a new holocaust against the Palestinian people."

The South American country, whose President Hugo Chavez is harshly critical of U.S. foreign policy, extended the comparison to the American-led invasion of Iraq and the U.S. atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki during World War II.

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