TEHRAN (FNA)- Prominent Reformist cleric Mehdi Karroubi says President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s comment on the Holocaust has cost Iran an arm and a leg.
Karroubi, who announced plans on Sunday to enter the Iranian presidential race, took a swipe at his rival’s economic and foreign policies.
“President Ahmadinejad has failed both in his foreign and economic policies. The Central Bank of Iran has announced the inflation as more than 23 percent and soaring,” said the 71-year-old cleric at a Sunday press conference.
Earlier in 2005, President Ahmadinejad made a comment on the Holocaust, which sparked widespread controversy, pres tv reported.
The Iranian president said ‘the West had given more significance to the myth of the genocide of the Jews, even more than God, religion, and the prophets.’
Referring to the issue of Holocaust, he suggested that if the West had committed such a huge crime against Jews they should give a piece of Europe, the United States, Canada or Alaska to the Jews, arguing that Palestinians should not pay for their crimes.
“We have so far paid a heavy price for the remarks by the president on the Holocaust and I cannot see what we have gained in return,” Karroubi said.
Karroubi’s remarks came shortly after the former Iranian president Mohammad Khatami criticized President Ahmadinejad over his ‘harsh and uncalculated’ stance on Israel.
“Although his remarks appeared sharp, anti-Israel, anti-West and were expressed in good faith, they were the best gift Israel could receive,” Khatami said.
Western media outlets claim that President Ahmadinejad wants to ‘wipe Israel off the map’, and have taken his comments as an indication that Iran intends to develop atomic bombs and destroy Israel.
In an exclusive Press TV interview conducted in September, President Ahmadinejad touched on the issue, saying he meant that ‘the Israeli regime’ would automatically disappear as soon as Palestinians were allowed to determine their own fate.
“Where is the Soviet Union? The Soviet Union has been wiped off the map. What happened to the Soviet Union? It disappeared when Russians were allowed to take matters into their own hands and change their destiny,” President Ahmadinejad said.
“The Zionist regime is an artificial regime … a fictitious regime. They brought people from different parts of the world and built this state. Of course, this cannot last. It is not sustainable. If they do not listen to our solution, this will happen one day,” he explained.