Ahmadinejad: 'Iran's duty to confront Israel'

By Jessica Elgot, September 18, 2009
Follow Jessica on Twitter
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has told Iranians that the Holocaust is a "lie", and that confronting Israel was an Iranian's "national and religious duty".

Speaking at the anti-Israel Quds Day rally at Tehran University, Mr Ahmadinejad said: "The Holocaust is a pretext for the creation of the Zionist regime and is false. It is a lie based on an unprovable and mythical claim. “

In the speech, broadcast on Iranian radio, the President went on to say: "Israel will not last long. Do not tie your fate to it. This regime has no future. Its life has come to an end."

Tens of thousands of Mr Ahmadinejad’s supporters attended the government-sponsored pro-Palestinian rally in Tehran.

The Holocaust is a pretext for the creation of the Zionist regime and is false.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

The Iranian opposition leaders Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mahdi also planned a protest in central Tehran.

Dozens of opposition supporters in green T-shirts marched chanting "Death to the Dictator” and "Neither Gaza nor Lebanon, but our life is for Iran”, defying Iran’s support for Hizbollah and Hamas.

World Jewish Congress President Ronald S. Lauder condemned Mr Ahmadinejad's comments and said they were: "another good reason for United Nations members to walk out on him when he speaks before the United Nations in New York next week".

He said: "UN members must stand up against Iranian ruler"

Last updated: 12:27pm, June 7 2011