Ahmadinejad’s Holocaust denial was among the greatest achievements of the outgoing Iranian president, he said in a speech on Sunday.
This was a point of pride, former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said, as it was a “taboo topic that no one in the West allowed to be heard,” according to Haaretz. This was a profound accomplishment during his term as Iranian president, because it “broke the spine of the Western capitalist regime,” he claims.
Regardless of how crippled the Western world was — or rather, was not — by the outgoing Iranian leader’s Holocaust denials, he asserts that “the name Ahmadinejad is now popular throughout the world.”
Continuing to make highly questionable claims about his legacy, Ahmadinejad said in his speech that he “had two missions: to build up Iran and to improve the world,” goals that were “inseparable.”
Ahmadinejad’s Holocaust denial, among other things, worked toward increased isolation of the leader from the Western world in the years since his rise to president’s office in 2005.
His policies also put Iran at odds with the nation’s Middle Eastern neighbors. Between repeated threats made regarding the use of military force against Israel and a refusal to cooperate with United Nations regarding Iran’s nuclear programs, Ahmadinejad’s claims of improving the world could be seen as dubious.
This is true, at least for Iran, where economic sanctions hurt the nation’s economy and fueled a financial crisis over the past year.
The recent presidential elections in Iran saw all six candidates take up stances against Ahmadinejad’s unpopular polices. President-elect Hassan Rohani has denounced many of the former Iranian president’s foreign tactics, calling his frequent anti-Israel remarks “hate rhetoric” that could have started a war.
The outgoing Iranian president’s Sunday speech further illustrates the stark contrast between the new president, Hassan Rohani and his predecessor.
Rohani has not been secretive in avoiding anti-Semetism like the nation’s former leader, whose outgoing speech claims the proudest moment of the presidential term was Ahmadinejad’s Holocaust denial.