With the arrival of Rouhani, it is expected that Iranian diplomats will adopt a more moderate narrative towards the West.
One area where improvement is badly needed is addressing the question of the Holocaust.
One has to wonder if Iranian officials realize how much of an important question this is to Westerners (especially), both conservatives and liberals. That this is not just a Jewish or an Israeli issue.
Ahmadinejad caused much offence by first denying the holocaust (by calling it a myth in 2005) and in 2006 he hosted a Holocaust revision conference. The goal of this conference was to examine “whether the Holocaust actually happened.” And to examine that the Iranian government brought a host of anti – Israel celebrities such as David Duke and members of the Neturei Karta. The only thing the participants had in common was how much they hated the state of Israel.
So a lot of offence has been caused so far. Rouhani will not be starting from zero on this issue. He will be starting from minus 50.
In the video below, Iran’s former UN ambassador and future foreign minister Javad Zarif is asked about the holocaust.
When he is asked about the Holocaust and whether six million Jews died, he starts saying “well I believe a great atrocity was committed” and then he goes on to ask why “the Palestinians have to pay the price for it”.
Then look at how flustered he gets when he is confronted by students again as it seems that they believe that he is not answering the question.
The question has to be asked: why don’t Iranian officials say yes, six million people died. Its documented and researched.
Why go through all these arguments?
Enough already. Iranian officials need to change the way they address the holocaust and its 6 million innocent victims.
Until they do, the Iranian government will continue to isolate itself, get itself into a lot of unnecessary arguments and make itself look extremely intolerant.