As the international community commemorated International Holocaust Remembrance Day on Wednesday, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei released a video claiming that “it is not clear” if the Holocaust “is a reality or not.”
The Farsi video, titled “Are The Dark Ages Over?”, was posted to Khamenei’s official website. An English translation of the video by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) is embedded below.
Who assists the fake Zionist regime? Who supports them? Who clear the road for them? Who stands behind them?
It is Western powers – headed by America that are doing so. This is why they say in their slogans that they are opposed to terrorism and ISIS, they are lying. They say things that are not true. This is ignorance.
No one in European countries dares to speak about holocaust while it is not clear whether the core of this matter is a reality or not. Even if it is a reality, it is not clear how it happened. Speaking about holocaust and expressing doubts about it is considered to be a great sin. If someone does this they stop, arrest, imprison and sue him. This is while they claim to be supporters of freedom. This is the ignorance that exists in the world today.
We should be awake. You dear brothers, dear people of Iran, Muslims in the great Islamic Ummah and officials in different countries should know that we can stand up against the ignorance.
In a March 2014 public address translated by MEMRI, Khamenei said, “It is not clear whether [the Holocaust] is real or not, and if it is real – how it happened.” A crowd of supporters answered his declaration with chants of “Death to America.” In another speech that year, Khamenei claimed that the reality of the Holocaust was “uncertain” before rejecting the idea that the Palestinians should recognize Israel.
UNESCO on Wednesday criticized Iran’s upcoming Holocaust cartoon contest, saying it is “completely opposed to the spirit of UNESCO.”
Last November, Khamenei spelled out his plan for the annihilation of Israel.
Emaunuele Ottolenghi, a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, explained in May the significance of the Iranian regime’s Holocaust denial.
Given how entrenched and pervasive Holocaust denial and anti-Semitism are within the Iranian regime, it is hard to dismiss the possibility that the regime’s principal motivation for embracing this narrative is to provide justification for its recurrence. Holocaust deniers, after all, have long sought to excuse the crime’s perpetrators and shift guilt onto its victims as a prelude to repeating that same crime.