ADL Condemns Clear Holocaust Denial by Ayatollah Khamenei During His National Address

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.

Iranian leaders routinely make anti-Semitic statements; Iranian media features anti-Semitic cartoons and the regime controlled Press TV airs anti-Semitic and anti-Israel propaganda.

The Anti-Defamation League was founded in 1913 to stop the defamation of the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment to all. Today it is the world’s leading organization combating anti-Semitism, exposing hate groups, training law enforcement on hate crimes, developing anti-bias education programs for students, countering cyber-hate and relentlessly pursuing equal rights for all.