Ahmadinejad, Mahmoud

Ahmadinejad, Mahmoud
(1956– )
   Elected president of Iran in 2005, Ahmadinejad is widely regarded as an advocate of Holocaust denial. On 14 December 2005, soon after his election as Iran’s president, he made several controversial statements about the Holocaust, including referring to it as a “myth.” He also criticized those European countries, such as Germany, that made laws against Holocaust denial. In 30 May 2006, in an interview with Der Spiegel, Ahmadinejad insisted, in regard to his previous statement that the Holocaust was a myth, “I will only accept something as truth if I’m actually convinced of it.” He went on to argue that “most” scholars who recognized the existence of the Holocaust are “politically motivated . . . then there is the group of scholars who represent the opposite position and have therefore been imprisoned for the most part.” In August 2006, in a letter to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Ahmadinejad expressed his belief that the Holocaust may have been invented by the Allied powers to embarrass Germany. On 11 December 2006, he convened an International Conference to Review the Global Vision of the Holocaust. Among the invitees were such well-known Holocaust deniers as David Duke, Gerald Frederick Toben, and Robert Faurisson. The press described the meeting as a “Holocaust denial conference.” Ahmadinejad stated that the conference was meant to “create an opportunity for thinkers who cannot express their views freely in Europe about the Holocaust.” In his September 2007 appearance at Columbia University, Ahmadinejad said, in regard to the Holocaust, that “I’m not saying that it didn’t happen at all. This is not a judgment that I’m passing here,” and that the Holocaust should be left open to debate and research like any other historical event. At the 18 September 2009 Quds Day ceremony in Tehran, he stated that “the pretext for establishing the Zionist regime is a lie, a lie which relies on an unreliable claim, a mythical claim, [as] the occupation of Palestine has nothing to do with the Holocaust.” He went on to refer to the Holocaust as a sealed “black box.” In regard to the Israeli–Palestinian conflict, Ahmadinejad has argued that the Palestinians played “no role” in the Holocaust, implying that the Palestinians were paying the price for the West’s support of the State of Israel.

Historical dictionary of the Holocaust. . 2014.

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