Germany’s ex-chancellor asks Iranians to recognise Holocaust

February 21st, 2009 - 3:17 am ICT by IANS  

Barack ObamaHanover (Germany), Feb 21 (DPA) On a visit to Iran, former German chancellor Gerhard Schroeder was set to criticise Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s denial that the Holocaust happened, a German newspaper said Friday.
In a speech prepared for delivery to the Iranian Chamber of Industry and Commerce in Teheran, Schroeder said, “The Holocaust is a historical fact. It makes no sense to deny this unique crime which Hitler’s Germany was responsible for.”

Schroeder’s Berlin office has confirmed he is on the trip. The newspaper Hannoversche Allgemeine Zeitung said it had obtained a copy of the speech and would publish a report of it Saturday. The newspaper is published in Hanover, Schroeder’s home town.

Another newspaper, the Sueddeutsche Zeitung, said earlier that Schroeder’s trip would last four days.

Schroeder also said in the speech that a regional power which wanted to be taken seriously had to recognise realities, respect international rules and make concessions.

He said he recognised Iran had its own vital security interests, but appealed to Teheran to guarantee Israel’s security too.

He called for Iran and the US to enter direct talks at high level about Iran’s nuclear research projects.

Schroeder said the new US President, Barack Obama, had made obvious he was offering the Islamic world the hand of friendship.

The ex-chancellor said he had no quarrel with Iran using nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, but it was equally clear that the number of states in possession of nuclear weapons should not increase, and those in possession should disarm.

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