Wire Service: AP
TEHRAN, Iran, Nov 1 - Iran awarded a Moroccan artist Wednesday the top prize in an exhibition of cartoons on the Holocaust that has received international condemnation, including from U.N. chief Kofi Annan.
Meant to be a response to the Danish cartoons of Islam's Prophet Muhammad that sparked rage among Muslims around the world, the exhibit appears inspired by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's tirades calling for Israel to be destroyed.
Tehran has several times announced plans to host a conference to examine the scientific evidence supporting the Holocaust, dismissing it as exaggerated. Its most recent announcement came in September during Annan's visit to the Iranian capital, where he said he discussed the cartoon show with officials.
Abdollah Derkaoui received $12,000 (U.S.) for his work depicting an Israeli crane piling large cement blocks on Israel's security wall and gradually obscuring Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem. A picture of Nazi Germany's Auschwitz concentration camp appears on the wall.
The mosque is Islam's third holiest site.
Tehran Museum of Contemporary Arts, next to the Palestinian Embassy, which was the Israeli diplomatic mission before the 1979 Islamic Revolution.