Portugal's Foreign Minister lodged a formal protest Wednesday about remarks by the Iranian ambassador in Lisbon, who expressed doubts about the extent of the Nazi Holocaust.
"To incinerate six million people would take 15 years, so there's a lot to be explained and to be told," Iranian ambassador Mohammed Taheri told state radio Antena 1 on Wednesday in comments translated into Portuguese.
Foreign Minister Diogo Freitas do Amaral said he summoned the ambassador to a meeting where he conveyed Portugal's "total rejection" of the comments.
Portugal considered the remarks "offensive" and "an unacceptable distortion of history," Freitas do Amaral said in a statement.
Freitas do Amaral said Portugal wanted to develop a fruitful relationship with Iran but Tehran's position on such topics as the Holocaust prevented warmer ties.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has called for Israel's destruction and questioned whether the Holocaust occurred.