Friday, December 16, 2005

Bush Calls Iran's President 'Odd Guy'

U.S. President George W. Bush on Friday called Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has questioned the Holocaust and suggested Israel be moved to Europe, an "odd guy." "He's a odd guy," Bush said in an interview to be broadcast on PBS television later on Friday.

"I'm worried about a theocracy." READ MORE

Ahmadinejad earlier this week triggered international condemnation for saying that the Holocaust was a myth.

It was the latest in a series of controversial commentssince he was elected in June. He has also suggested Israel be moved to Europe, and that Israel must be "wiped off the map."

The United States has repeatedly raised concerns about Iran's nuclear program, accusing Tehran of seeking nuclear weapons. Iran insists its nuclear program is for generating electricity.

"One of the real issues we're gonna have to deal with, and are dealing with is Iran. Iran's got a president that ... second-guessed the Holocaust," Bush said on "The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer".

"Iran's a threat," he added.

Bush said Iran supports militant group Hizbollah, which he said was trying to derail the Middle East peace process.

One way to encourage reformers in Iran is to have new democracies in Afghanistan and Iraq, Bush said.

"So the stakes in Iraq are beyond just making sure that Iraq is not a safe haven for al Qaeda," he said.