Iran's Ahmadinejad Questions Whether Holocaust was a 'Real Event'

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Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Friday lashed out at Israel and the West, questioning whether the Holocaust ever happened and claiming it was a pretext for occupying Palestinian lands, reiterating anti-Israel rhetoric that has brought him international condemnation.

The Iranian president said Israel was formed on a "false and mythical claim" and expressed doubts whether the Holocaust, when the Nazis killed 6 million Jews during World War II, was a "real event."

Ahmadinejad's questioning of the Holocaust and repeated predictions of Israel's demise have drawn international condemnation. Even some Iranians have criticized him for needlessly provoking the West with the rhetoric, but Ahmadinejad has persisted, apparently seeking to burnish his reputation for defying Iran's rivals and to drum up support among ordinary Iranians who see the Palestinian suffering as an injustice sponsored by the West.

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