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Iranian Jewish concerns

by: Leslie Bunder - Last updated: 2006-02-13

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

Iran's small Jewish community has expressed concern over recent comments President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has made for denying the Holocaust.

The community today numbers around 25,000 down from the 85,000 when the Iranian revolution took place in 1979. Around 15,000 live in the capital Tehran.

In December last year, Ahmadinejad said:

"They have created a myth today that they call the massacre of Jews and they consider it a principle above God, religions and the prophets.

While previously in October, he said of Israel, it should be "wiped off the map".

In a letter sent to Ahmadinejad sent by Haroun Yashayaei, the head of Iran's Jewish community, concern was raised over the way the Iranian leader has been commenting on the Holocaust by claiming it is a lie and organising various events including a Holocaust denial conference.

In the letter Yashayaei wrote:

"How is it possible to ignore all of the undeniable evidence existing for the exile and massacre of the Jews in Europe during World War Two? Challenging one of the most obvious and saddening events of 20th-century humanity has created astonishment among the people of the world and spread fear and anxiety among the small Jewish community of Iran."

The letter was sent out over a week ago and its not yet known how Ahmadinejad has responded to it.