It was reported that Iranian President Hassan Rouhani had delivered what his predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, never could — recognition that the Holocaust took place — but according to the semi-official Iranian FARS News Agency it never happened.
On CNN.com’s home page Wednesday morning, the main headline asserted that Rouhani, in an interview with network reporter Christiane Amanpour, said that the Holocaust happened: “Iran’s New President: Yes, the Holocaust Happened.”
FARS however, categorically denied the claim, saying the network “fabricated” the story, adding the word ‘Holocaust,’ among other conciliatory phrases, to its translation.
FARS said:“The CNN aired its interview with Rouhani on Tuesday but the news channel added to or changed parts of his remarks when Christiane Amanpour asked him about the Holocaust.”
In the following translation, FARS said that the bold words were fabricated from whole cloth, and added to its translation:
CNN’s Translation: “I’ve said before that I am not a historian and then, when it comes to speaking of the dimensions of the Holocaust, it is the historians that should reflect on it. But in general I can tell you that any crime that happens in history against humanity, including the crime that Nazis committed towards the Jews as well as non-Jews is reprehensible and condemnable. Whatever criminality they committed against the Jews, we condemn, the taking of human life is contemptible, it makes no difference whether that life is Jewish life, Christian or Muslim, for us it is the same, but taking the human life is something our religion rejects but this doesn’t mean that on the other hand you can say Nazis committed crime against a group now therefore, they must usurp the land of another group and occupy it. This too is an act that should be condemned. There should be an even-handed discussion”.The CNN story traveled around the world quickly, FARS noted, writing, “After the CNN released the interview, hundreds of news agencies, TV and news channels, websites and weblogs broadcast this title: ‘Iran’s President Rouhani Calls Holocaust ‘Reprehensible’ Crime Against Jews,’ a title quoted from the CNN; Or ‘Rouhani Recognizes the Holocaust as Crime against Jews.’”
Reuters, for example, headlined its article: “Rouhani Recognizes Holocaust As Crime Against Jews.” In an earlier interview with NBC, Rouhani declined to comment on whether the Holocaust took place.
When contacted by The Algemeiner the Israeli prime minister’s office declined to comment on the matter.