Iran Announces Conference on Holocaust
By NASSER KARIMI
Associated Press Writer
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) -- Iran, whose president has denied the Holocaust, said Sunday it would hold a conference to examine the scientific evidence concerning Nazi Germany's extermination of 6 million Jews.
Hard-line Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has recently provoked global condemnation for saying the Holocaust is a "myth" and calling for Israel to be wiped from the face of the earth. Iran further alarmed Western countries last week by restarting its research at a nuclear facility after a two-year freeze.
"It is a strange world. It is possible to discuss everything except the Holocaust," Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi told reporters.
"The Foreign Ministry plans to hold a conference on the scientific aspect of the issue to discuss and review
Asefi did not say where or when the conference would be held or who would attend.
Earlier this month, the Association of Muslim Journalists, a hard-line group, proposed holding a similar conference.
But Asefi said he was not aware of the association's wishes. He said the conference he announced was planned and supported by the ministry.
On Saturday, Ahmadinejad urged the West to be open-minded enough to allow a free international debate on the real aspects of the Holocaust.
Rep. Tom Lantos, D-Calif., has said he understood Iran was considering a conference to call into question the evidence that the Nazis conducted a mass murder of European Jews during World War Two.