Iran’s UN Human Rights Envoy Questions Holocaust, Ban Ki-moon Urged to Respond

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Geneva, January 11, 2007 —
 Only weeks before the UN’s annual commemoration of the Holocaust, Iran’s Geneva 
envoy to the UN Human Rights Council has sent a letter to the UN questioning the Nazi genocide of six million Jews.  [Click for Iran letter.]  Distributed today by the UN in Geneva, the letter was sent by  Ambassador Alireza Moayeri to Council President Luis de Alba.

UN Watch, the Geneva-based human rights monitoring organization, called on UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, President de Alba and Human Rights High Commissioner Louise Arbour to strongly condemn what is only the latest offence in Iran’s ongoing campaign to both deny the Nazi genocide and incite a new genocide through President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s repeated calls to “wipe Israel off the map.”

Moayeri’s letter defends the December state-sanctioned conference in Tehran featuring former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke and others as “an academic event.”   According to Moaveri, “the number of perished” is a particularly “legitimate question,” and there are “serious opposing ideas over the issue.”

UN Watch Executive Director Hillel Neuer issued the following statement:

UN Watch condemns this outrageous questioning of the horrors of the Holocaust only weeks ahead of the UN Annual International Day of Commemoration for its Victims.

Nothing could be more obscene than using the forum of the world’s foremost human rights body to question the most evil crime against humanity, upon whose ashes, as Kofi Annan recently said, the UN was founded.

UN Watch also condemns the letter’s demonization of Zionism, the expression of the Jewish people’s UN-approved right to self-determination, as an ideology “charged with hegemonic racial desires.”

It is exceedingly ironic and the height of hypocrisy for Iran to defend the conference by invoking freedom of opinion after it has just been slammed by the UN General Assembly for its repression of journalists and lack of basic political freedoms.  The General Assembly severely condemned Iran as one of the world’s worst human rights violators in its resolution A/C.3/61/L.41.
It is further ironic that Iran’s letter was distributed to the Human Rights Council on the same day that UN human rights experts urged Iran not to execute seven Ahwazi Arabs after a secret trial the experts called a “mockery of due process requirements.”
Iran’s calling Israel racist is beyond the pot calling the kettle black.  Its president repeatedly calls for the destruction of a UN member state, and now it is about to execute seven minority Arabs on bogus charges.  Human Rights Council members should act immediately to prevent Iran from carrying out the executions.

UN Watch urged new UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to strongly condemn Iran today for its Holocaust denial and contempt for the principles of the UN Charter.

Similarly, High Commissioner Arbour, who has yet to apply her moral weight to bear on this issue, must speak out immediately and forcefully.

UN Watch is a Geneva-based human rights organization founded in 1993 to monitor UN compliance with the principles of its Charter. It is accredited as a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) in Special Consultative Status to the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and as an Associate NGO to the UN Department of Public Information.


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