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Ahmadinejad 'not welcome' in Germany

BERLIN, June 12 (UPI) -- Germany's politicians are debating how to react if Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad decides to come to Germany during the FIFA Soccer World Cup.

"Just as enthusiastically as we welcomed the Iranian players, do we have to tell Ahmadinejad that he is not welcome here," Wolfgang Bosbach, of Chancellor Angela Merkel's center-right Christian Democrats, told Berlin daily Tagesspiegel.

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Ahmadinejad is a known soccer fan and is likely to support his country's team in person if Iran reaches the second round. Vice President Mohammed Aliabadi attended Iran's Sunday match in Nuremberg against Mexico, which the Central American team won 3-1.

In the wake of the game, some 1,000 people peacefully protested against Ahmadinejad's anti-Semitic speeches. He had previously called for Israel to be "wiped off the map" and questioned the existence of the Holocaust.

As Holocaust denial is a federal crime in Germany, Ahmadinejad may even face a criminal prosecution if he enters the country.

Some politicians on the left have said Ahmadinejad should not be barred from entering the country.

After the initial loss, however, Iran's chances of making it past the group stages are slim.

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