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Originally published Tuesday, September 22, 2009 at 7:21 PM

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AP interview: Iranian backs off Holocaust denial

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (ah-muh-DEE'-neh-zhahd) is muting his remarks on the Holocaust, an event he has frequently questioned as a matter of historical fact.

The Associated Press

NEW YORK —

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (ah-muh-DEE'-neh-zhahd) is muting his remarks on the Holocaust, an event he has frequently questioned as a matter of historical fact.

In an Associated Press interview shortly after arriving in the United States, the Iranian leader did not repeat those outright denials.

Using markedly less confrontational language than he has in the past, Ahmadinejad told the AP on Tuesday he is not interested in debating historical details. Instead, he says he wants to focus on what he calls the wrong done to Palestinians who lost their land when the state of Israel was formed.

Ahmadinejad said the Holocaust is used as a pretext for the repression of Palestinians. He grouped the deaths of Jews during World War II with those of millions of others who died.

The Iranian leader is in New York to address the United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (neh-ten-YAH'-hoo) plans to boycott the Iranian's address.

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