Iranian media and the country’s highest political and religious authority, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei, haven’t let the recent interim agreement on Iran’s nuclear issue diminish the Islamic Republic’s zeal for promoting its deep-seated anti-Semitism and support for Holocaust denial.
Despite President Hassan Rouhani and Foreign Minister Muhammad Javad Zarif’s recent overtures to the West, extreme elements in Iranian media and its leadership continue to express their vitriolic animus toward Israel and Jews in print, on the web and on social media.
A look at recent officially sanctioned cartoons and caricatures found in Iranian press reveal an uptick in the portrayal of Jews and Israeli leaders as insects, monkeys, rats and dogs (see examples below). In Iranian and Islamic cultures, dogs are often considered najis, or religiously impure beings.
In many illustrations, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia is also shown as an Israeli lackey responsible for the atrocities occurring in neighboring Syria on Israel’s behest.
Iran’s broadcasting and publishing media is under the control of Ayatollah Khamenei and is charged with presenting the regime’s anti-Semitic, anti-Israel and anti-West ideology. In a post published on Khamenei’s Facebook and Twitter pages on December 16, 2013, marking the anniversary of French Holocaust-denier Roger Garaudy’s trial for his 1996 book that referred to the Holocaust the “myth of the six million,” Khamenei lavished praise on Garaudy as a “French #Muslim resistance fighter.”
Recalling an official meeting held in 1998 during Garaudy’s visit to Tehran, Khamenei said “Zionists are just like the #Nazis and display the same #racist behaviors.” Khamenei’s post was accompanied by an image of Garaudy standing alongside images of Holocaust victims, injured Palestinians, and Nazis.