Iran's new foreign minister, Javad Zarif, said Thursday that the Islamic Republic does not deny the Holocaust, suggesting that previous Holocaust denials were the personal opinion of former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Zarif's comments came in a twitter exchange with Christine Pelosi, the daughter of US House of Representatives Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi.
In response to a tweet in which Zarif wished Jews a "Happy Rosh Hahshanah" on the occasion of the Jewish new year, Pelosi tweeted: “Thanks. The new year would be even sweeter if you would end Iran’s Holocaust denial, sir.”
Zarif replied that “Iran never denied it. the man who did is now gone. happy new year.” The tweet apparently referred to Ahmadinejad, who denied the Holocaust on repeated occasions.
Zarif's Rosh Hashana greeting followed a similar tweet from Iranian President Hassan Rouhani: "As the sun is about to set here in #Tehran I wish all Jews, especially Iranian Jews, a blessed Rosh Hashanah."
Mohammad Reza Sadeq, an adviser to Rouhani, denied that the Twitter account belonged to the Iranian president, telling the Fars News Agency that "“any official news on him (the president) is released by the presidential office.”
However, CNN quoted a close aide to Rouhani as saying that, while the president himself did not send out the tweet, staff members in his office run the account, and therefore it is semi-official.