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February 01, 2016

Iranian Leader Marks Holocaust Remembrance Day with Denial Video

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Ayatollah Ali Khamenei


The “Supreme Leader” of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, released a Holocaust denial video on Jan. 27, 2016—International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

According to the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), a non-profit organization that translates Arab and Iranian media sources, Khamenei’s three-minute video was published on his official website. The “Iran Military” Facebook page, which is affiliated with the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), disseminated the video.

MEMRI says in the video Khamenei “expresses doubt about whether the Holocaust actually happened…and hints at a conspiracy on the part of Western Europe and the U.S.”

Khamenei exhorts:

“You dear brothers, dear people of Iran, Muslims of the great Islamic Ummah [transnational Muslim community], and officials in different countries, should know that we can stand up against the Ignorance.” The “Ignorance” is a term frequently used by Iranian leaders to refer to the non-Islamic West, particularly the United States.

The Iranian leader claimed that “no one in European countries dares to speak about the Holocaust, while it is not clear whether the core of this matter is a reality or not.” Khamenei claimed, “Even if it [the Holocaust] is a reality, it is not clear how it happened.”

As CAMERA has noted, similar false claims have been propagated by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, among others.

Without a hint of irony, the ayatollah, head of a theocratic police state, charged European leaders with suppressing freedom to question or debate the historical fact of the Nazi-led destruction of European Jewry. He pointed to lawsuits and arrests that some democratic countries, such as Germany, have taken against Holocaust deniers.

Khamenei’s claims may have another purpose as well. MEMRI says, the ayatollah’s charge implies the “silence about the Holocaust that is imposed by the West on their citizens…is a conspiracy by the Western countries and the Zionist regime [Israel], aimed at establishing falsely, justification for Israel’s existence, as it expels the Palestinians.”

The Islamic Republic of Iran’s embrace of Holocaust denial is nothing new. Its former President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, repeatedly denied the murder of 6 million Jews by Nazi Germany and its collaborators occurred.

His successor, current Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, earned plaudits from media outlets, like the U.K. newspaper The Guardian, for purportedly putting “an end to eight years of Holocaust denial.” Yet, as Marc Tracy pointed out in The New Republic in 2013, Rouhani did not actually denounce Holocaust denial. He said “Let the historians decide”—effectively casting doubt on the historical nature of the Holocaust by falsely implying that historians had not yet verified the genocide (“Hassan Rouhani Is Still a Holocaust Denier,” Sept. 26, 2013).

In an activity meant to help indoctrinate the next generation of Iranians, the regime is slated to hold its latest annual contest to “see who can create the best Holocaust denial cartoon” this June. Last year 839 cartoons were submitted. This year’s winner will take home $50,000—$12,000 more than the last winner was awarded (“Iran to Host State-Sponsored Holocaust Denial Cartoon Contest,” Breitbart News, Jan. 16, 2016).

The MEMRI clip of Khamenei’s Holocaust denial video can be found here.


Posted by SD at February 1, 2016 01:11 PM

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