Outgoing Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has celebrated his achievements as President of Iran in the field of... Holocaust denial.
“That [Holocaust denial] was a taboo topic that no one in the West allowed to be heard… We put it forward at the global level. That broke the spine of the Western capitalist regime,” Ahmadinejad said in his farewell speech on Sunday.
According to Iranian news sources, Ahmadinejad also called upon the Arab world to band together against Israel.
Ahmadinejad will end his four-year presidency next month and will be replaced by president-elect Hassan Rouhani.
Iranian Jewish leader Haroun Yashaei was quoted Wednesday by the pro-reform Shragh newspaper as calling Ahmadinejad's recent comments "smug" and highly political. His decision to openly criticise a high-ranking level of the regime was highly unusual, in a country where minorities, including Jews, prefer to stay away from publicly criticising the regime. The fact that he felt confident enough to do so may reflect the sentiment in Iran that Ahmadinejad has fallen out with the Supreme Leader, after a sometimes rocky relationship as president.
Official Iranian figures put the number of Jews living in Iran at 30,000, though other groups claim the numbers are far lower - closer to 10,000 - following decades of Islamist rule.
Either way, few of them will be sorry to see the back of their outgoing president.