(JNS.org) On International Holocaust Remembrance Day and the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau on Wednesday, Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei published a video (see below) titled "Are The Dark Ages Over," expressing doubt whether the Holocaust took place and complaining about European nations’ ban on Holocaust denial.
Khamenei laments that the Holocaust denial bans are not justified by European laws regarding free speech. In the video, which was translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute, the Iranian leader also calls on Muslims to fight Israel and the Jewish state's Western allies. The video includes images of major European Holocaust deniers such as Roger Garaudy, Robert Faurisson, and David Irving, highlighting their alleged persecution in the West.
Iran is also in the midst of organizing its annual Holocaust cartoon contest. This year, the first-place prize money is $50,000, more than quadruple last year’s $12,000. There will also be a separate portrait contest focusing on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
“We’re really concerned this contest is used as a platform for Holocaust denial…and anti-Semitic speech,” Ira Forman, the U.S. State Department’s special envoy to combat and monitor anti-Semitism, told JNS.org.