What is former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad doing in Budapest?

What is former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad doing in Budapest?
What is former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad doing in Budapest?

In a statement to Euronews, the Israeli embassy in Hungary criticized the decision to invite the Holocaust-denying former Iranian president to speak at a university in Budapest.

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Former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s lecture at a Hungarian university drew condemnation from the Israeli embassy in Budapest and the country’s Jewish community.

Mr. Ahmadinejad, known for his hostility toward Israel and his denial of the Holocaust, was scheduled to give two lectures at the National University of Public Administration (Nemzeti Közszolgálati Egyetem, or NKE), on Tuesday and Wednesday, at the invitation of its dean, Gergely Deli.

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According to Iranian mediathe NKE invited the politician to a scientific meeting on “common values ​​in the global environment”.

Hammihan media reported that Ahmadinejad is expected to speak as“special guest” on the importance of confronting threats to the environment. The meeting should take place behind closed doors, as it is not announced on the NKE website.

Meanwhile, images of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Deli in Budapest have appeared on Iranian social media accounts.

Euronews broke the story on Tuesday and attempted to contact the university about the former Iranian president.

The NKE press service said it did not wish to comment. The Hungarian Foreign Ministry did not respond to requests for comment.

Visit ‘seriously offends’ Hungarian Jewish community

The Israeli embassy in Hungary reacted to the news by saying that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s visit to Budapest was an insult to “the memory of the victims”.

In a statement to Euronews, she indicated that this visit “seriously offends and tramples on the memory of the approximately 600,000 Hungarian Jews who were murdered during the Holocaust.”

According to the statement, the former Iranian president is “a self-proclaimed Holocaust denier who is directly responsible for events that ridicule, demean and question the Holocaust and its victims”a reference to the two-day conference entitled “Holocaust Review: Global View”, held in Tehran in 2006.

The Israeli embassy in Hungary also points out that as Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad regularly called for the destruction of Israel.

The association of Hungarian Jewish congregations, Mazsihisz, also criticized the invitation to Mr Ahmadinejad.

The association said in a statement that it was incomprehensible that the management of the National University of Public Administration “allowed Mr. Ahmadinejad, who is anti-Semitic to the core, to give a lecture at one of Hungary’s elite universities.”

_”It is not only scandalous but also painful that the former Iranian president is in Budapest on the same day that the Hungarian Jewish community remembers the victims of [l’Holocauste] 80 years ago in this country and at Auschwitz._Ahmadinejad’s reception in Budapest deeply offends the Hungarian Jewish community, which mourns its murdered dead.adds the press release.

Mazsihisz requested that “the management of the NKE” apologizes to the “Hungarian Jewish community offended” and demanded that the Hungarian government “explains how, in light of the excellent Israeli-Hungarian relations and the government’s policy of support for the Hungarian Jewish community, Mr. Ahmadinejad’s visit to Hungary could take place.”

Holocaust denial

Mr. Ahmadinejad, who served as president of the Islamic Republic from 2005 to 2013, is not known as an environmentalist, but rather for his positions extreme Islamists, anti-American, anti-Israeli and Holocaust deniers.

He was a promoter of Iran’s nuclear program and banned UN inspectors from visiting the country’s nuclear facilities.

Under his presidency, the human and minority rights situation in Iran has also deteriorated dramatically.

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In 2005, in a speech praising Iranian Islamic revolutionary Ayatollah Khomeini, who served as Iran’s first supreme leader from 1979, Mr. Ahmadinejad announced that“Israel must be wiped off the map.”

He has repeatedly referred to the Holocaust as “myth” made for the sole purpose of enabling the Jewish people to create their own state.

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