A funny thing happened to Iranian President Hussan Rouhani on his way from the United Nations convocation two days ago. Inept translation of his conversations with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour made him out to be the forward leaning reformer that would allow the handshake that never happened.
There is a reason the handshake never happened, and that is because nothing has changed among the “Supreme” rulers of Iran, nor of its presidents. Holocaust “denialism” is a powerful propaganda weapon in the Mideast and it is a weapon that former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinajad wielded sharply.
Mr. Rouhani took pains not to disparage the hardline positions of Iran’s rulers and of his predecessor Ahmadinajad because it would put him at odds with a fundamental Iranian government propaganda warfare program. Call it a “hearts and minds” campaign for humanities basest instincts.
Holocaust denial is important to regimes that would destroy the state of Israel, because it is a powerful weapon in most of the Mideast. In order to defeat Israel, the Iranian government must first demoralize it. One cheap and easy way to do that is to quash the worldwide compassion one feels for the Jews and other victims of the Nazis. Of course, the Holocaust also serves, in civilized minds, as a powerful justification for the Jewish state.
CNN interpreted Hussan Rouhani’s comments as those of an Iranian leader finally willing to admit of the horrendous Jewish Holocaust of WWII-and to condemn it. The problem was that the official Iranian news agencies are saying the Farsi translation of Rouhani’s comments were inept, a point agreed upon by Farsi translators at the Wall Street Journal.
More to the point, the Iranian translations and the Wall Street Journal both say that Rouhani never used the word “Holocaust” but instead used the euphemism “historical events.” The WSJ translator also concurs with the Iranian official news agency that CNN invented other remarks in their reportage, such as the following comment also falsely attributed to Rouhani:
“… whatever criminality they [the Nazis] committed against the Jews, we condemn.”
Since the wishful thinking was broadcast widely in the media, many people got sucked in-including myself. The Iranian Supreme Leaders want two things:
They want U.S. and European sanctions lifted, and they want the unmitigated pursuit of nuclear power. Unmistakeably, they want to achieve these objectives not through real reform, but by spinning world-wide public opinion.