Iran’s President Raisi Becomes Latest Top Tehran Regime Official to Question Holocaust
In a 60 Minutes appearance on Sunday, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi became the latest in a long line of top Tehran regime officials who have trivialized, distorted, or outright denied the Holocaust in recent decades.
Asked by CBS interviewer Lesley Stahl, “Do you believe the Holocaust happened, that six million Jews were slaughtered?”, Raisi replied, “Look, historical events should be investigated by researchers and historians. There are some signs that it happened. If so, they should allow it to be investigated and researched.”
Stahl followed up with question on Israel’s right to exist. Raisi answered, “You see, the people of Palestine are the reality. This is the right of the people of Palestine, who are forced to leave their houses and motherland. The Americans are supporting this false regime there.”
When asked if he believed the Holocaust happened, Iranian President Raisi told Lesley Stahl, “There are some signs that it happened. If so, they should allow it to be investigated and researched.” https://t.co/CChTRxBFcr pic.twitter.com/7ZSBEknrh1
— 60 Minutes (@60Minutes) September 19, 2022
Yad Vashem Chairman Dani Dayan slammed Raisi’s remarks, commenting on Monday, “There’s nothing more antisemitic than [what Raisi said]. It not only defames Jews today but the six million Jews, the 1.5 million Jewish children, who were killed in the Holocaust.”
Dani Dayan, speaking to Holocaust survivors at Yad Vashem
“There’s nothing more antisemitic than [what Raisi said]. It not only defames Jews today but the 6 million Jews — the 1.5 million Jewish children — who were killed in the Holocaust.” pic.twitter.com/RaojuSs11e
— Judah Ari Gross (@JudahAriGross) September 19, 2022
In 2016, the Iranian government sponsored an exhibit in Tehran featuring more than 150 cartoons denying or mocking the Holocaust.
Two years earlier, Iranian Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said, “No one in European countries dares to speak about the Holocaust, while it is not clear whether the core of this matter is clear or not. Even if it is a reality, it is not clear how it happened. Speaking about the 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 the supporters of freedom. This is the ignorance that exists in today’s world.”
Khamenei has also expressed similar sentiments on Twitter numerous times, including in March 2014.
#Holocaust is an event whose reality is uncertain and if it has happened, it’s uncertain how it has happened.
— Khamenei.ir (@khamenei_ir) March 21, 2014
In 2009, then-Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad stated, “The pretext (Holocaust) for the creation of the Zionist regime (Israel) is false … It is a lie based on an unprovable and mythical claim.”
Three years earlier, the Tehran regime hosted an “academic” conference that brought Holocaust deniers from around the world to the Islamic Republic to “raise various opinions about a historical issue,” as Iran’s then-Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki described the event’s purpose.