China criticizes Iranian president's Holocaust remarks

China on Thursday criticized Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's remarks denying the Nazi Holocaust, saying it was opposed to actions that could undermine world stability. On Wednesday, Ahmadinejad called the murder of 6 million Jews during a World War II a "myth" that was used as a pretext for establishing the Jewish state of Israel in the heart of the Muslim world.

In October, the Iranian leader had called for Israel's destruction. On Thursday, Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang pointedly rejected Ahmadinejad's comments. "We are not in favor of any remarks detrimental to stability and peace," he said. "Israel is a sovereign state."

Tension between Iran and Israel was high even before Ahmadinejad's remarks, with senior Israeli officials refusing to rule out military means to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon. Iran denies that its nuclear development program has any military applications, saying it is aimed instead at generating electricity.

China maintains good relations with both Iran and Israel. It recently signed an agreement with Tehran aimed at given its direct access to large supplies of Iranian oil, reports the AP. I.L.

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