Ahmadinejad: Obama support of 'Gaza massacre' was big mistake
In rare interview with U.S. television, Iran president says Holocaust should not be used against Palestinians.
In a rare interview with American television, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad criticized U.S. President Barack Obama for his "support of the massacre of Gazans" during Israel's offensive on the Hamas-ruled coastal territory earlier this year.
"The gentleman's [Obama] support of the massacre of Gazans in support for the criminals who were responsible for that atrocity was a major mistake on the part of the gentleman," Ahmadinejad told ABC reporter George Stephanopoulous during an interview aired Sunday on 'This Week'.
"I think that if Mr. Obama wants to help with the Palestinian issue, he has to move in accordance with justice, fair play and also, again, I am calling for the right for the Palestinians to determine their own fate," said the Iranian leader.
Ahmadinejad also used the interview to defend again his speech at the United Nations anti-racism conference last week, in which he called Israel a "racist" state, and to slam the American leader for boycotting the summit.
"When I was talking against the Zionist regime in the racism conference, the first proviso for successful talks would be to give the other party the freedom to speak," said the Iranian leader.
"Mr. Obama has the right to have his own opinion, obviously. He is ready to express his points of view. But the Geneva conference had been organized to combat racism, to oppose racism," said Ahmadinejad.
"My point of view is that the Zionist regime is the manifestation of racism."
When asked whether Iran would support a two-state solution should such a settlement be reached by Israel and the Palestinians, Ahmadinejad said: "Nobody should interfere, allow the Palestinian people to decide for themselves. Whatever they decide."
A vocal denier of the Holocaust, Ahmadinejad also told ABC that he still had two questions regarding the historical accuracy of the Nazis' delieberate murder of six million Jews during World War II. "if the Holocaust happened," Ahmadinejad said, then Palestinians should not be held to pay the price.
"My first question was, if the Holocaust happened, where did it take place? In Europe. Why should they make amends in Palestine?" he said, adding: "The Palestinian people had no role to play in the Holocaust. They had no role, for that matter, in the Second World War. Racism happened in Europe, the amends are made in Palestine?"
The Iranian leader also said that more questions and research must be done to prove that the event actually occurred.
"My second question about the Holocaust, if this is indeed a historical event, why do they want to turn it into a holy thing? And nobody should be allowed to ask any questions about that? Nobody study it, research it, permit it to research it. Why?"