Ahmadinejad Avoids Nuke Issue, Attacks Israel in letter to German Chancellor

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Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad made no mention of his country's nuclear program in a letter to Chancellor Angela Merkel, but made statements about Israel and the Holocaust that are "not acceptable," the German government said Friday.

"The letter contains ... no statements on the Iranian nuclear program" and also does not address the current fighting in Lebanon, Merkel's spokesman, Ulrich Wilhelm, told reporters. He said it was devoted largely to criticism of Israel and its right to exist.

CountryWatch: Iran

"It contains many statements that are not acceptable to us, in particular about Israel, the state of Israel's right to exist and the Holocaust."

Wilhelm did not elaborate on the contents and said the German government did not plan to release the text.

Germany has sharply criticized previous comments by Ahmadinejad in which he labeled the Nazi Holocaust a myth and called for Israel's destruction. It also is among the countries leading diplomatic efforts to resolve concerns over Iran's nuclear program.

"The German government does not have the intention of entering into correspondence with the Iranian president," Wilhelm said, adding that Berlin would instead continue to support multilateral efforts to bring about a suspension of Iran's nuclear program.