Iran's anti-Holocaust stand angers Germany

Jan. 19, 2006 at 5:57 PM

BERLIN, Jan. 19 (UPI) -- The German government has condemned Iran's plan for a conference designed to try to prove the Holocaust never happened.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has called the Holocaust a "myth."

The Iranian government announced plans for the conference last weekend and said it would invite prominent Holocaust deniers to speak. Among those mentioned were German neo-Nazi Horst Mahler, the Israeli journalist and Christian convert Israel Shamir and the historian David Irving.

Politicians, especially in Germany, were up in arms at the idea of such a conference, Deutsche Welle said.

"This is international anti-Semitism at work," said Gert Weisskirchen, the foreign affairs spokesman for the Social Democratic Party in an interview with German magazine Der Spiegel.

Werner Hoyer from the free-market liberal Free Democratic Party told Der Spiegel such a meeting of Holocaust skeptics at a time of heightened tensions over Iran's nuclear ambitions was a "dangerous spark in the powder keg."

Shamir's Web state carried a post saying he had not been invited to the conference, has "knowledge whether such a conference will take place at all." The post said if an invitation is received "it will be considered carefully."

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