That was Ahmadinejad’s idea of a milder speech — never mind the bit about eradicating “Zionism” (i.e., Israel). An update on this story. “Ahmadinejad dropped Holocaust denial from speech,” by Bradley S. Klapper and Alexander G. Higgins for the Associated Press, April 21:
GENEVA — Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad dropped language describing the Holocaust as “ambiguous and dubious” from a speech attacking Israel at a United Nations racism conference, the U.N. said Tuesday.
The U.N. and the Iranian Mission in Geneva did not comment on why the change was made, but U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Monday that he had met with Ahmadinejad before his speech and reminded him that the U.N. had adopted resolutions “to revoke the equation of Zionism with racism and to reaffirm the historical facts of the Holocaust.”
Ahmadinejad’s accusation that the West used the Holocaust as a “pretext” for aggression against Palestinians still provoked walkouts by a stream of delegates including representatives of every European Union country in attendance. But others, including those from the Vatican, stayed in the room because they said he stopped short of denying the Holocaust.
The walkout came after Ahmadinejad accused Western nations of complicity in violence against Palestinians surrounding the foundation of Israel.
They walked out. No effigies burned, no riots in Western capitals.
The original text of his speech said, “Following World War II, they resorted to military aggression to make an entire nation homeless on the pretext of Jewish sufferings and the ambiguous and dubious question of Holocaust.”
U.N. spokeswoman Marie Heuze said that U.N. officials had checked back with the interpreters and the Farsi recording of Ahmadinejad’s speech, and determined that the Iranian president had dropped the terms “ambiguous and dubious,” referring instead to “the abuse of the question of the Holocaust.”
The French and English interpreters also dropped the phrase, she said…