Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Senator compares Iran's president to Hitler

A senator compared Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to Hitler and made fun of his name on Tuesday during a congressional hearing on the U.S. strategy to end Iran's suspected nuclear weapons program.

"Ahmadinejad -- I call him Ahmad-in-a-head -- I think he's a Hitler type of person," Ohio Republican Sen. George Voinovich said during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing.

"He has made it clear that he wants to destroy Israel. He has made it clear he doesn't believe in the Holocaust. He's a, he's a -- we all know what he is," the senator added.

Ahmadinejad, who took office in August 2005, has issued threats to Israel, compared its offensive in Lebanon this summer to the behavior of Nazi Germany and called the Holocaust, in which 6 million Jews died, a myth.

The United States accuses Iran of pursuing nuclear weapons, of supporting terrorism and of aiding the insurgency in Iraq. Iran says its nuclear program is to generate nuclear power.

"I don't believe that as long as he's there that we're ever going to solve Iraq," Voinovich said. "There seems to be a very deliberate, premeditated effort on their part to expand their influence in that area and this nuclear issue is just part of it." READ MORE

Voinovich made his remarks shortly before President George W. Bush delivered a speech at the U.N. General Assembly in which he said the Iranian government was using the country's resources to fund terrorism and pursue nuclear weapons.

Ahmadinejad was to address the U.N. gathering later later on Tuesday.

The 70-year-old senator has challenged Bush on a number of issues. His opposition to Bush's nomination of John Bolton as U.N. ambassador last year forced the president to sidestep the congressional approval process and appoint Bolton directly.