Douglas Murray

Memo to Iran’s apologists: President Ahmadinejad has denied the Holocaust

Memo to Iran’s apologists: President Ahmadinejad has denied the Holocaust
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Has President Ahmadinejad ever denied the Holocaust? David Morrison, co-author with Peter Oborne of a new apologia on the Iranian ‘government’, appears to think that he has not. In a bizarre and disgraceful interview with the Telegraph, alongside his co-author, Morrison recites the main claim of their book – which is that the Iranian regime is not pursuing nuclear weapons. Oborne’s Telegraph colleague Con Coughlin too kindly skewers that claim as ‘delusional’.

But even more alarming than that conspiracy theory of theirs is Morrison’s claim (uncorrected by Oborne, the Telegraph’s chief political commentator) that he has ‘never come across a statement from President Ahmadinejad saying that the Holocaust didn’t happen’. Here is a transcript of the relevant excerpt (from about 17 minutes in).  The Telegraph’s interviewer asks how anybody could trust a regime which:

‘Q: …for example held a conference to discuss the historical veracity of the Holocaust.

David Morrison: I’m not sure whether the conference actually said that.’

Really? Well, for the record, it did. There was not one historian present. The 2006 conference attendees included David Duke, Robert Faurisson and Frederick Toben.  Each and every speech was dedicated to claiming that the Holocaust had not occurred and/or that Israel should not exist.

Going on, the interviewer tries to correct Morrison’s claim by saying:

‘Q: Holocaust deniers were present.

David Morrison: You may be right indeed.’

No, not ‘may be right’. 'Right'. What else are Faurisson et al? Historians? Why the ‘may be’?

Worse is to come. For Morrison goes on:

‘David Morrison: I have never come across a statement from Ahmadinejad saying that the Holocaust didn’t happen. He’s said other things that question the Holocaust and the numbers killed in the Holocaust, yes, but I’ve never come across an absolute denial of it.’

This is quite simply unbelievable. And amazing that Peter Oborne, who has actually written a book with this man, can sit beside him and not challenge the claim that he has ‘never come across a statement from Ahmadinejad saying that the Holocaust didn’t happen.’

Here, for the benefit of Mr Morrison and Mr Oborne, are just a couple of Ahmadinejad’s statements on the Holocaust which they have found it so difficult to locate. The first is from the BBC:

‘They have created a myth today that they call the massacre of Jews and they consider it a principle above God, religions and the prophets.

If someone were to deny the existence of God... or prophets and religion, they would not bother him.  However, if someone were to deny the myth of the Jews' massacre, all the Zionist mouthpieces and the governments subservient to the Zionists tear their larynxes and scream against the person as much as they can.’

And the second (reported by Oborne’s own paper, the Telegraph) to a rally in Tehran in January 2009:

‘The Holocaust is a lie.’

There are numberless other examples. One of the other candidates in the forthcoming Iranian Presidential elections, the current Mayor of Tehran, Mohammad-Bagher Ghalibaf, has recently blasted Ahmadinejad for his Holocaust denial, saying that it has damaged Iran internationally.

Why David Morrison and Peter Oborne would pretend that Iran is not seeking to acquire nuclear technology is one disturbing question.  Why the Telegraph’s chief political correspondent would co-operate in a denial of Holocaust denial is another.