New York, NY, March 21, 2014 …The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today condemned a statement by Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in which he asserted during a major national address that the historical reality of the Holocaust is “unknown,” and questioned if it “actually did happen.”
Ayatollah Khamenei made the statements on the occasion of Nowruz, the Persian New Year, and denounced Western nations that view “freedom” of speech as their “red line” yet impose restrictions on discussing the Holocaust.
Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, issued the following statement:
It is no accident that Iran’s Supreme Leader chose his major national address of the year to question if the Holocaust happened. His message is that despite the ongoing nuclear negotiations, Iran is holding strong to its radical ideology, including denial of the Holocaust, and other extremist anti-Semitic and anti-Israel views as well as their ongoing support for world terror as evidenced by the recent Israeli seizure of Iranian weapons destined for the Gaza Strip.
Once again, the injection of Holocaust denial by an Iranian leader shows the world how such deep seated hatred exists at the helm in Iran. We have seen the Ayatollah spew his vehement animosity toward Jews before on other national occasions in Iran and these statements once again show the bigotry and hypocrisy of this regime.
In December 2013, Khamenei’s Facebook and Twitter pages marked the anniversary of French Holocaust-denier Roger Garaudy’s trial for his 1996 book that referred to the Holocaust as the “myth of the six million,” and lavished praise on Garaudy as a “French #Muslim resistance fighter.” In June 2013, the Ayatollah’s Facebook page contained a post which featured a visual representation of the classic anti-Semitic conspiracy theory of Jewish control of the United States government.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.