(JTA) — Iran’s supreme leader released a video on his official website questioning the authenticity of the Holocaust on the same day the world observed International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
The video titled “Are the Dark Ages Over” was uploaded to the website of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Wednesday. The nearly 3-minute video begins with images of killed and injured Palestinian children, and then turns to Israeli soldiers, Holocaust deniers and world leaders.
The narrator, speaking in Farsi with English subtitles, says the Western powers, headed by America, are supporting Israel and Western claims that they are against terrorism are a lie.
“No one in European countries dares to speak about the Holocaust, while it is not clear whether the core of the matter is reality or not,” the narrator says. “Even if it is reality, it is not clear how it happened. Speaking about the Holocaust and expressing doubts about it is considered to be a great sin. If someone does this, they stop, arrest, imprison and sue him. This is why they claim to be supporters of freedom.”
It is not the first time that Khamenei has denied the Holocaust or its magnitude.
Iran’s president, Hassan Rouhani, is currently visiting France after first meeting with Pope Francis in Rome. Before leaving Rome for Paris on Wednesday, Rouhani blamed the “Zionist lobby” in the United States from hampering a close Iran-U.S. relationship.
Also Wednesday, a statement was uploaded to Khameini’s website in which he asserted that “the Zionists and the Nazis have a lot in common.”
The statement, taken from a 1998 meeting, continues: “Today there is a major contradiction in the way the U.S. and Europe behave. They decry Nazi’s racism against the Jews, but support the Zionists who are similar to the Nazis in many ways. The despicability of supporting the Zionists is no less than that of supporting Nazi Germany and Hitler, however, the materialistic civilization of America and Europe has no explanation for this major contradiction.”