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Schroeder critical of Ahmadinejad

February 22, 2009|Reuters

TEHRAN — Visiting former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder on Saturday criticized Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for denying the Holocaust, saying the slaughter of 6 million Jews by Nazis was a fact.

Since coming to power in 2005, Ahmadinejad has provoked international condemnation for saying the Holocaust was a "myth" and calling Israel a "tumor" in the Middle East.

"The Holocaust is a historic fact and there is no sense in denying this unparalleled crime," Schroeder told the Iranian Chamber of Industry and Commerce.

"Iran needs to take responsibility and respect international rules, if it wants to be taken seriously as a regional power," he said.

Schroeder was scheduled to meet with Ahmadinejad. He arrived in Tehran on Thurs- day for a four-day unofficial visit.

Ahmadinejad said in January that the subject of the Holocaust had been used to expand the influence of the United States and Britain after World War II.

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