Ahmadinejad: Anti-Islam Film Is Israeli Plot to Stir Religious Confrontations

Iranian president says the West's defense of freedom of speech is unfair since it does not cover questions about the Holocaust.

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Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Friday compared the West's defense of freedom of speech over anti-Islam films and cartoons, with its refusal to countenance questioning of the Holocaust.

Speaking ahead of expected worldwide protests over a U.S. film satirizing the prophet Mohammed, and the publication of cartoon images of Mohammed in a French magazine, Ahmadinejad said: "If the West claims that insulting the prophet is part of freedom of expression, then why because of a simple historic question, they suppress and jail history researchers and even threaten a whole nation (Iran) because of this one question."

The Iranian president has on several occasions questioned the historic dimensions of the Holocaust and called for relocation of Israel from the Middle East to Europe and North America.

The Iranian foreign ministry condemned both the U.S. film and the French cartoons, calling them "an organized plot by Zionists (Israeli government)" with the aim of countering the growing Islamic wave in the world.

"For the sake of saving themselves from their collapse, the uncultured Zionists (Israeli government) have started plots to stir religious confrontations in the world with Western leaders justify these evil plots," Ahmadinejad said in a speech at a military parade in Tehran.

Iranian President Mahmoud AhmadinejadCredit: AP

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