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May 31, 2016

Baltimore Sun Carries False AP Report on Iran's Holocaust Cartoon Contest

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Listed below is an unpublished letter that was sent to The Baltimore Sun:

Dear Editor:

The Associated Press (AP) dispatch “Israel’s Netanyahu: Iran contest mocks Holocaust,” appearing in the Sun on May 16, wrongly claimed that an international cartoon contest with a Holocaust denial theme, held in Iran, was not supported and sponsored by the regime in Tehran.

AP, perhaps echoing claims made by Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in an interview with The New Yorker, asserted that the contest “was organized by nongovernmental bodies.” This is false.

As a May 9 Washington Post editorial noted, an Iranian official confirmed that his country’s Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance supports the exhibition. As for those “nongovernmental bodies,” the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum asserted that one of the organizations behind the festival, Owj Media and Cultural Institute, is funded by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps, a key element of the regime.

Another, the Sarcheshmeh Cultural Complex, is supported by the Islamic Development Organization—an entity whose budget is approved by the Iranian parliament.

That is, the cartoon festival, aimed at minimizing, mocking, denying and/or inverting the Holocaust, is supported absolutely by the Iranian regime. Zarif—who, with current Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, is frequently mislabeled as a “moderate”—serves that dictatorship loyally.

A previous Holocaust cartoon contest was held in 2006 under Iran’s then-President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (2005-2013) and a second took place in 2015. In a Dec. 16, 2005 article The Sun called Ahmadinejad’s Holocaust denial “an effort to signal that Iran, not al-Qaida, is the leading force behind militant Islam.”

More than a decade later, little has changed—a fact the AP failed to properly report for Sun readers.

Sincerely

Sean Durns

Durns is Media Assistant for CAMERA—the 65,000-member, Boston-based Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America

Posted by SD at May 31, 2016 02:46 PM

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