Islamic Republics FM, Mohammad Javad Zarif says he won’t allow official Holocaust denial. In a parliament hearing, to day, Zarif defended his previous statements about Holocaust and marked Holocaust denial in Iran as a “Zionist project”.
What is irony is that the most famous and most powerful Holocaust denier in Iran has been the supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has described Holocaust as a “myth”. But Zarif, who has claimed before in an interview with ABC, that Khamenei was “misquoted”, labeled the supreme leader today, as a “Zionist” when he claimed that Holocaust denial is a “Zionist project”!
These statements are made on the Israel’s Independence Day, and just a week after The Holocaust Memorial Day.
Holocaust denial was a main part of the Islamic Republic’s foreign policy under Mahmud Ahmadinejad. The former Iranian president prompted an International outcry when he first called Holocaust a “Myth” in 2005.
Whatever Ahmadinejad’s intention was, this policy gave the upper hand to Israeli hardliners who used it as a tool to demonize Iranians. It was because of these statements that Benyamin Netanyahu could easily convince Israelis that he is the only one who was able to stop Iran from committing a new Holocaust against the Jewish people and won the elections.
May be that’s why Zarif calls Holocaust denial a “Zionist project” and says that his efforts to ignore Holocaust deniers in Iran and his governments new foreign policy of reaching out to the west, has been a great discomfort for Netanyahu.
Whatever his intention is, we should welcome the new turn in Islamic Republic’s policy towards the Holocaust.