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Iranian Interior Minister Mostafa Pur Mohammadi in Athens, Friday, Dec. 16. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)

Controversial remarks about Israel made by the president of Iran were "misunderstood," said the country's interior minister.

Mostafa Pur Mohammadi told the Associated Press on Friday that western condemnation of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's anti-Israel remarks was misguided.

Earlier this week, Ahmadinejad said that if Europeans insist the Holocaust occurred, then Europe should provide land for Israel.

But speaking from an immigration conference in Athens on Friday, Mohammadi said the president's remarks were misinterpreted by western governments.

"He wanted to say that if certain people have created troubles for the Jewish community they should bear the expenses, and it is not others who should pay for that," said Mohammadi.

On Wednesday, Ahmadinejad suggested the Holocaust didn't happen.

Europeans "have created a myth in the name of Holocaust and consider it to be above God, religion and the prophets," said Ahmadinejad.

"If you committed this big crime, then why should the oppressed Palestinian nation pay the price?"

"This is our proposal: If you committed the crime, then give a part of your own land in Europe, the United States, Canada or Alaska to them so that the Jews can establish their country."

In October, Ahmadinejad again drew international condemnation by calling for Israel to be "wiped off the map."