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Fidel Castro Calls on Iran to Stop Slandering Jews

In an interview with a U.S. magazine, former Cuban Leader Fidel Castro has called on Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to, in his words, "stop slandering the Jews."

A report for The Atlantic that was posted online Tuesday says Mr. Castro criticized President Ahmadinejad for denying that the Holocaust occurred. He said the interests of peace would be better served if the Iranian president acknowledged the unique history and theology of anti-Semitism.

The former Cuban leader said Mr. Ahmadinejad should try to understand why the Israelis fear for their existence. Mr. Castro said no group has been more slandered and blamed for things throughout history than the Jews.

Mr. Castro made the comments after being asked about recent speeches in which he warned that tensions between the United States, its ally Israel and Iran are leading to a nuclear confrontation.

The former Cuban president, who recently turned 84, has been seen publicly several times in the past month, after years of seclusion following intestinal surgery and ceding power to his brother, Raul, in 2006.

He used several of those appearances to warn of the growing nuclear threat.

In The Atlantic interview, Mr. Castro was asked about his fears concerning a U.S.–Israel–Iran nuclear confrontation and his own experiences during the 1962 Cuban missile crisis.

At that time, Mr. Castro had recommended the Soviet Union launch a nuclear attack against the United States if the U.S. ever attacked Cuba.

The former Cuban leader told the interviewer that after what he has seen and what he knows now, he regrets those comments.