Monday, December 29, 2008

Ahmadinejad Christmas speech annoys British government

LONDON (Hollywood Reporter) – The British government has rebuked broadcaster Channel 4 for airing a Christmas message from Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, whose previous dismissal of the Holocaust and refusal to abandon the pursuit of a nuclear capability have caused international dismay.

Channel 4 invited Ahmadinejad to deliver its annual "alternative Christmas message," which was broadcast on Christmas Day. In a break with tradition, however, the network did not schedule his address at the same time as the queen delivered her own annual Christmas message.

A spokesman for the British foreign office said the invitation would likely cause "offense and bemusement" and that the broadcast's negative impact would be felt on an international scale.

"President Ahmadinejad has during his time in office made a series of appalling anti-Semitic statements," a spokeswoman said.

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