Iran to release book mocking Holocaust


RUETERS

Iranian Holocaust book to be issued in English

TEHRAN (Reuters) – A student-linked Iranian publisher plans to launch English- and Arabic-language versions of a book of caricatures and satirical writings about the Holocaust, a semi-official news agency reported on Sunday.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad caused outrage in the West and Israel for saying in 2005 the state of Israel should be wiped off the map and for a Tehran conference in 2006 that sought to cast doubt on the Holocaust, in which 6 million Jews were killed by the Nazis.

The book deals with the “big historical distortion” of the Holocaust and the English and Arabic editions would be published at a ceremony in Tehran later this month when a message from Ahmadinejad would be read out, Fars News Agency said.

It appeared to be translations of a book which official media in September said had been published about the “fiction” of the Holocaust. Details could not immediately be confirmed.

“The presentation ceremony will be held on January 27 … with the attendance of a number of government officials,” said Mohammad-Mehdi Hemmati, who is involved in the project.

The Islamic Republic does not recognize Israel’s right to exist and refers to it as the “Zionist regime.” It has condemned Israel’s recent attacks in Gaza, which Ahmadinejad has described as “genocide.”

Iran’s IRNA news agency said in September the book had 52 caricatures plus satirical writings over 108 pages. It was published by Martyr Shahbazi Publications and the Islamic student movement of the Science and Industry University.

Iran staged an international competition and exhibition of cartoons about the Holocaust in 2006. That contest was held in response to cartoons published in Denmark that were deemed anti-Islamic, officials have said.

Israeli President Shimon Peres has called Iran’s nuclear program an “existential threat” to the Jewish state.

In September, Peres called Ahmadinejad a danger and a disgrace at the United Nations, after the Iranian president blamed “Zionist murderers” for everything from the Wall Street crisis to Russia’s invasion of Georgia.

Israel, believed to have the Middle East’s only atomic arsenal, and the West say Iran has a covert program to build nuclear weapons. Iran, the world’s fourth largest oil producer, denies this, saying it wants technology to generate electricity.

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