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Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Outgoing Iranian President, Proud Of Controversial Holocaust Comments, Jewish Leader Outraged

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AHMADINEJAD
Iranian outgoing President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is seen during a ceremony at Tehran's Golestan Palace celebrating its inscription on the UNESCO World Heritage List on July 7, 2013. The palace, built in the 16th century, is a masterpiece of the art of the Qajar period. (ATTA KENARE/AFP/Getty Images) | Getty

TEHRAN, Iran — An Iranian Jewish activist is criticizing outgoing President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for his remarks hailing his challenges over the extent of the Holocaust.

In rare public outrage by an Iranian Jewish leader, Haroun Yashaei was quoted Wednesday by the pro-reform Shragh newspaper as calling Ahmadinejad's recent comments "smug" and highly political.

On Sunday, Ahmadinejad boasted that he rattled Western taboos by calling for more historical research into the Nazi atrocities.

Yashaei, who heads the Tehran Jewish community, described Ahmadinejad's comments as offensive and said Jews were not sent to concentration camps for a "stroll."

There are about 30,000 Jews in Iran, which sets aside one parliament seat for a Jewish lawmaker.

Ahmadinejad, who leaves office in August, has often denounced Israel and says more non-Western research is needed into the Holocaust.

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