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Tehran cancels annual anti-Israel conference

(JTA) — Iran reportedly canceled an anti-Israel event held annually in Tehran.

The country’s Foreign Ministry nixed the New Horizon Conference, which was scheduled for November, as part of outreach efforts by recently elected President Hassan Rouhani to the West to map out a new diplomatic path for Iran, according to a report Friday by The Associated Press.

AP cited Iranian news websites as saying the Foreign Ministry scrapped the gathering because it was seen as undermining the government’s policy of “interaction with the outside world.”

The conference’s lead organizer, Nader Talebzadeh, was quoted as telling the website mashreghnews.ir that the cancellation is “a major mistake on the part of our government.”

Held originally in 2005, the conference has drawn well-known Holocaust deniers, including David Duke. Mark Weber, the U.S.-born director of the California-based Institute for Historical Review, attended the conference last year, where he delivered a lecture on “The Zionist Lobby in America” to several hundred Iranian students.

Rouhani’s predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, caused an international uproar at a previous conference by describing the Holocaust as a myth and calling for Israel to be “wiped off the map.”

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