Rouhani unexpectedly condemns Holocaust

Handshake or no handshake with President Obama, Iranian President Hasan Rouhani, on his visit to the New York UN General Assembly, has unexpectedly broken with his predecessor by condemning the Nazi Holocaust. Rouhani’s condemnation has been seen as part of a ‘charm offensive’ that has left Israel isolated. The Times of Israel reports:

Hasan Rouhani, the Iranian president, interviewed on CNN, September 24, 2013 (photo : YouTube screenshot)

In a major break from his
predecessor, Iranian President Hasan Rouhani on Wednesday condemned the
Holocaust as a crime against humanity in a CNN interview with Christiane Amanpour.

“I
am not a historian and when it comes to speaking of the dimensions of
the Holocaust it is the historians that should reflect,” Rouhani said
during his visit to New York, choosing not to relate to the scope of the
Holocaust.

“But in general I can tell you that any crime
that happens in history against humanity, including the crime the Nazis
created towards the Jews, is reprehensible and condemnable,” CNN
translated the newly elected president saying.

Earlier in the evening, before the interview aired on the US cable news channel, Rouhani spoke at length about “violence and extremism” and his country’s nuclear program before the UN General Assembly.

Rouhani’s predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad,
repeatedly during his eight-year, two-term presidency, derided the mass
murder of 6 million Jews by Nazi Germany as a “myth” and a “great deception of the Holocaust” generated by Israel.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
ordered the Israeli delegates to walk out of the UN General Assembly
during Rouhani’s speech. He later defended his decision, saying their
presence “would have given legitimacy to a regime that does not accept
that the Holocaust happened and publicly declares its desire to wipe
Israel off the map.”

As Israel’s prime minister, he said, “I won’t
allow the Israeli delegation to be part of a cynical public relations
charade by a regime that denies that Holocaust and calls for our
destruction.”

Update: Media watchdog CAMERA argues that Rouhani’s remarks about the Holocaust were mistranslated.Report alsohere.

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Reaction of Iranian Jews (YNetnews)

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