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Annan Says Holocaust 'Undeniable' After Meeting With Iran's President


U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan has said the Holocaust is an "undeniable historical fact" during a visit to Tehran.

Mr. Annan spoke after meeting with Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad,

and his comments followed an announcement that Iran will host a conference questioning what Iran's foreign ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi called Holocaust "exaggerations."

Iran's president has described the Holocaust as a "myth," a comment which drew condemnation in the West.

The U.N. secretary-general Sunday also raised concerns about an exhibition in Tehran of provocative cartoons about the Holocaust - the mass murder of European Jews by Nazi Germany during World War II.

Also today, Mr. Annan said Iran's president reaffirmed support for the U.N. resolution that established a ceasefire between Israel and Hezbollah.

Mr. Annan said they both agreed to strengthen Lebanon's territorial integrity and independence and work together on reconstruction in the country.

Iran is a main backer of Hezbollah.

Mr. Annan said the Iranian president also emphasized his readiness to find a negotiated solution to Iran's nuclear dispute with the West. But he said Mr. Ahmadinejad repeated his rejection of U.N. demands for the suspension of uranium enrichment before negotiations can begin.

Iran ignored a U.N. Security Council warning to stop uranium enrichment by August 31st or face the risk of economic sanctions. Various Western nations suspect Iran is trying to develop nuclear weapons, a charge Tehran denies.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.

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