Monday, December 11, 2006

Iranian Students Denounce Holocaust Denial

Iranian students protested a conference of prominent Holocaust deniers who were gathering to examine whether the World War II genocide of Jews took place. The conference was initiated by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

During the protest, dozens of Iranian students burnt pictures of President Ahmadinejad and chanted “death to the dictator” as he gave a speech at a university in Tehran on the eve of the conference.

One student activist said that the protest was against the “shameful” Holocaust conference and the “fact that many activists have not been allowed to attend university.” The conference “has brought to our country Nazis and racists from around the world”, he added.

Mr. Ahmadinejad responded by saying: “Everyone should know that Ahmadinejad is prepared to be burnt in the path of true freedom, independence and justice,” according to an Iranian students’ news agency. He accused the protesters of being “Americanised.”

The conference has also dismayed Iran’s 25,000-strong Jewish community. Moris Motamed, Iran’s sole Jewish MP, said that denying the Holocaust was “a huge insult.”

Meanwhile, before adjourning for the remainder of the year, the 109th Congress passed H.Res. 1091, “Condemning in the strongest terms Iran's commitment to hold an international Holocaust denial conference on December 11-12, 2006.”

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