Iranian president Rouhani calls Holocaust ‘reprehensible’ crime

By Jessica Huseman
@JessicaHuseman

Hassan Rouhani's official state photo.

Hassan Rouhani’s official state photo.

After dodging the same question from NBC last week, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani told CNN on Monday that the Holocaust was a “reprehensible” crime committed against the Jews by the Nazis— a view notably different from his predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, whose vitriolic comments towards Jews made him an international target for criticism.

“…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,” Rouhani told CNN when asked if he shared his predecessor’s belief that the Holocaust was a myth. “Whatever criminality they committed against the Jews we condemn…the taking of human life is contemptible. It makes no difference if that life is Jewish life, Christian or Muslim. For us it is the same.”

While he recognized the existence of the Holocaust, he said that the scope of the crime should be left up to Historians.

“I am not a historian and when it comes to speaking of the dimensions of the Holocaust it is the historians that should reflect,” he said, according to CNN’s translation of his comments made while visiting New York to address the United Nations General Assembly.

But these comments did not come without criticism of Israel, which was founded as a Jewish state after World War II.

“This does not mean that on the other hand you can say ‘Nazis committed crimes against a group, now therefore they must usurp the land of another group and occupy it,'” he said. “This too is an act that should be condemned. There should be an evenhanded discussion.”

There are now fewer than 10,000 Jews left in Iran, though the country used to be home to one of the largest Jewish populations in the Middle East. Regardless of his views on Israel, these comments will go a long way in reestablishing good faith between Jews and the leadership of Iran, and come only three weeks after he publicly wished Jews a happy Rosh Hashanah via Twitter.

Posted by on September 25, 2013. Filed under Recent News,Religion,Top News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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