Ahmadinejad 'Proud' of Angering West Over Holocaust Denial

Iran president had told Tehran crowd that the Holocaust was 'a lie based on a mythical claim.'

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has said he was proud that the West was outraged over his recent outburst of Holocaust denial, Iran's state news agency reported Monday.

The report by IRNA quoted Ahmadinejad as saying that angering the world's "professional man slayers" - an apparent reference to Israel and some in the West - was a source of pride for him.

He did not elaborate further.

During a speech on Friday, the Iranian president told a Tehran crowd assembled for Quds (Jerusalem) Day Friday that, "The pretext [Holocaust] for the creation of the Zionist regime [Israel] is false ... It is a lie based on an unprovable and mythical claim."

The comments quickly drew international condemnation. The United States, Britain, France, Germany, Russia and the European Union all denounced the remarks in the harshest terms.

In a statement unprecedented in its tone, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier called Ahmadinejad a "disgrace" to his country.

"Today's statements by the Iranian President are unacceptable. With his intolerable tirades he is a disgrace to his country," Steinmeier said in a statement. "This sheer anti-Semitism demands our collective condemnation. We will continue to confront it decisively in the future."

British Foreign Secretary David Miliband said: "President Ahmadinejad's repeated denials of the Holocaust are abhorrent as well as ignorant. It is very important that the world community stands up against this tide of abuse. This outburst is not worthy of the leader of Iran."

"It's a sad day for the Iranian people," French Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Christine Fages said in reference to Ahmadinejad's latest Holocaust statements. She said they unfortunately add to the long list of hateful statements by Ahmadinejad.