Daily Israel Report

Iranian Foreign Minister Under Fire for Acknowledging Holocaust

Foreign Minister Javad Zarif summoned to parliamentary session over acknowledging that Holocaust was 'a horrifying tragedy.'
By Tova Dvorin
First Publish: 2/25/2014, 2:42 AM

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif
Reuters

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif was under fire Monday for comments he made about the Holocaust - not by the West, but by Iranian government officials, Yisrael Hayom notes. 

The daily notes that, according to Iranian state news agency IRNA, hardline Islamist MPs in the Islamic Republic have upbraided Zarif for calling the Holocaust "a horrifying tragedy" in an interview on German television in January.

He is due to appear at a closed session of parliament Tuesday to respond to a petition over the issue by 54 lawmakers. 

Zarif has expressed "moderate" views about the Holocaust several times to the Western media, as has Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. 

Earlier this month, Zarif stated at the Munich Security Conference that the Holocaust was “tragically cruel and should not happen again.” He later allegedly added that “We have nothing against the Jews. We do not feel threatened by anyone,”

In September, Zarif wrote on Twitter that Iran had never officially denied the occurrence of the Holocaust, and that former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who denied the Holocaust and openly called to wipe Israel off the map, was no longer in power. 

That tweet came in response to Christine Pelosi, the daughter of the U.S. House Minority Leader, after Zarif joined Rouhani in sending Rosh Hashanah wishes to the Jewish people.

Since the Islamic Revolution in 1979, Iranian leadership has had a steady tradition of denying the Holocaust.

Before Rouhani, former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad repeatedly claimed that the atrocity, one of the greatest in human history, was contrived, is a mere “myth” and that the extermination of six million Jews at the hands of Nazis simply never occurred. 

Before he ended his presidency, Ahmadinejad even boasted that his proudest moment was the Holocaust denial.