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The new leader of France's leading far-right party has taken her effort to recast her party's image to Israel - affirming its right to security from terrorism and criticizing Iran's leadership.

National Front Party leader Marine Le Pen says she has no friendship for Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. She insisted that his anti-Israel comments of the past were a populist ploy to gain public support. She made the remarks in French in a phone interview aired Wednesday on Radio 90, an Israeli station.

In January, she succeeded her father, party founder Jean-Marie Le Pen, who was convicted of minimizing the Holocaust.

Jean-Marie Le Pen shocked France with a strong showing in the 2002 presidential race.