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September 25, 2013

Did Rouhani Acknowledge Holocaust?

CNN said it. And seemingly everyone else followed suit. But did Iranian president Hassan Rouhani actually acknowledge the Holocaust?

Even based on the CNN voice-over on the segment of the interview posted online by CNN, there are serious questions about whether it's reasonable to conclude Rouhani agreed that the Holocaust — or rather, that the same Holocaust acknowledged by the rest of the world — occurred.

Rouhani seems to have told CNN's Christiane Amanpour that the Nazis committed some crime of unknown dimensions against the Jews.

I've said before that I am not a historian, and when it comes to speaking the dimensions of the Holocaust, it is the historians that should reflect on it. But in general I can tell you that any crime that happens in history against humanity, including the crime the Nazis created toward the Jews, is reprehensible and condemnable. Whatever the criminality they committed against the Jews, we condemn.

This isn't exactly an admission of the Nazi genocide documented by historians. After all, even Holocaust deniers have granted that some Nazis killed some Jews. It is not clear from the section of the interview thus far made available by CNN that Rouhani is saying any more than this, even if he does use the Iranian word for Holocaust.

But did he even say "Holocaust"? The Iranian Fars News Agency, for what it's worth, is claiming CNN mistranslated Rouhani. And the Wall Street Journal's Sohrab Ahmari, who speaks Persian, asserts that the Fars transcription and translation is accurate — meaning CNN's translation is not.

After the the accuracy of the translations were challenged, CNN told The Free Beacon that its translation is accurate, and that the translator who worked with CNN was hired by the Iranian government.

Depending on who's right, it may turn out that a whole lot of news organizations need to correct a whole lot of misstatements.

Posted by GI at September 25, 2013 04:28 PM


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