Iran media pushes Holocaust denial: Jews perpetrated mass murder in Yemen

An article in Iranian media has asserted that the 'real' holocaust was carried out by Jews on the border of Yemen, some 1,000 years ago.

Iran Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, July 2020 (photo credit: KHAMENEI.IR)
Iran Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, July 2020
(photo credit: KHAMENEI.IR)
Jews were responsible for a historic “Holocaust,” according to an article published by Iran’s semi-official Fars News Agency.
While the actual Holocaust was questionable, the original one was carried out by Jews against Christians more than 1,000 years ago on the border of modern-day Yemen, the article said.
Hossein Shariatmadari, the editor of the Kayhan, a conservative Iranian newspaper close to the regime, wrote an article about the Holocaust in the context of accusing France of insulting Islam, Fars reported.
The trend in Iran, Malaysia and other countries run by Islamist governments is to use antisemitism as a way to respond to perceived insults against Islam in Europe.
The usual refrain goes like this: Every time cartoons insult Islam, Muslim leaders will deny the Holocaust in response. This is a strange reaction since it punishes Jews, who were victims of European antisemitism, attacking Jews every time regimes such as the one in Iran are angry at Europe.
In the recent article by Shariatmadari, a memo responding to readers’ questions about the Holocaust reads: “In Saturday’s memo, we referred to undeniable evidence that the Holocaust was falsely claimed by the Zionists and Western governments – but now we seek to show that historical documents refer to a real Holocaust that the Jews of that time, the ancestors of the Zionists, did.”
The Iranian media calls this a “horrific crime that has become an eternal stigma on the foreheads of the Zionists, not the Jews.”
Iran's Kayhan newspaper publishes holocaust denial story, November 2020 (Screenshot)Iran's Kayhan newspaper publishes holocaust denial story, November 2020 (Screenshot)
The confusing accusation here is basically that there was no Holocaust carried out by German Nazis and their collaborators, but that the Jews perpetuated the “real” holocaust in the 6th century in an area called Najran near Yemen. Furthermore the argument goes that the Jews who fought Christians at that time, around 524 CE, are the ancestors of today’s “Zionists” but somehow not linked to other Jews that the Iranian regime claims to tolerate.

This is part of the Iranian regime narrative that tends to spread propaganda claiming it is not against “Jews” but only “Zionists.” However, its frequent 
of the Holocaust illustrates that it hates Jews and denies historic persecution of them. At the same time the Iranian regime, when trying to spread its message to Western audiences, argues that Iran was a safe haven for Jews throughout history, having saved them from persecution. 
The confusing accusation here is basically that there was no Holocaust carried out by German Nazis and their collaborators, but that the Jews perpetuated the “real” holocaust in the sixth century in an area called Najran, near Yemen.
Furthermore, the author argues, the Jews who fought Christians at that time, around 524 CE, are the ancestors of today’s “Zionists” but somehow not linked to other Jews that the Iranian regime claims to tolerate.
This is part of the Iranian regime’s narrative that tends to spread propaganda claiming it is not against “Jews” but only “Zionists.” However, its frequent denial of the Holocaust illustrates that it hates Jews and denies historic persecution of them.
At the same time, the Iranian regime, when trying to spread its message to Western audiences, argues that Iran was a safe haven for Jews throughout history, having saved them from persecution.
The Iranian regime media narrative is this: The Holocaust did not happen, but we saved Jews fleeing during the era of the Holocaust. But the real Holocaust was carried out by Jews against Christians, and those Jews are Zionists. But the Jews who fled the Holocaust, which did not happen, are the ones who now live in Iran – and we protect them.
The decision by the far-right Iranian regime media to push Holocaust denial, while trying to accuse “Zionists” of committing a “Holocaust” against Christians in an area of Arabia in the sixth century, appears to be part of a deluded argument that seeks to portray Jews as anti-Christian while also trying to deny historic suffering.
Iran pushes these arguments oddly to get back at France for Iran’s claims that France insults Islam, as if somehow the best way to get revenge on European countries for offending Muslims is to bash the Jews – the same Jews who were put in gas chambers in Europe, the gas chambers that Iran denies existed and which links Iran’s regime to traditional far-right European antisemitism.
Iran’s conservative newspaper memo on the Holocaust ended by noting it was a “great historical lie” and “myth invented by Zionists.”