Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Iranian Leaders: Statements and Positions (Part I)

The Middle East Media Research Institute: Hat Tip Ilan Berman

Ayatollah Jannati: "The Spirit of Man Requires Sustenance... Martyrdom is a Kind of Such Nourishment;" "Non-Muslims are Like Animals Who Chew Their Cud"

Ayatollah Meshkini: "America and England are Two Cancerous Growths [Which] Will Destroy Any Country Whose Body They Enter"

Ayatollah Mesbah-e Yazdi: "We Need 5,000 Propagators of the Religion to Serve the Iranians Living in the U.S."

Caption: "Holocaust (Hitler's Crematoria for Humans)!"
Kayhan, December 15, 2005: http://www.kayhannews.ir/840924/3.HTM

This is the first in a series of papers that will include translations of statements by members of the Iranian regime and Iranian leaders on various issues, along with the main positions expressed in editorials in the Iranian media.

Attitudes Towards the U.S. and Britain

1. Assembly of Experts Head Ayatollah Ali Meshkini [2]

The Iranian reformist daily Sharq reported that Assembly of Experts head and Association of (Religious) Lecturers of Qom Seminaries Secretary-General Ayatollah Ali Meshkini called the U.S. and England "two cancerous growths for the other countries." Meshkini said: "The Iranian people must know that America and England are two cancerous growths, and [they] will destroy any country if they enter its body... In light of what happened in Afghanistan and in Iraq, the democracy of America has been revealed to all the people, and they have realized what democracy in America and England is." [3]

2. Ayatollah Mohammad Taqi Mesbah-e Yazdi

Ayatollah Mohammad-Taqi Misbah-e Yazdi, the religious mentor of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and of the Revolutionary Guards, recently said: "We need 5,000 propagators of the religion to serve and cover the Iranian Muslims living in the U.S.... A considerable sum of money must be allocated to the science and research centers in the country [Iran] in order to train the preachers of the religion... In order to train 500 such propagators, we need suitable religious and research centers, and a large sum of money." [4]

3. Kayhan International Daily Newspaper

In an editorial, the ultra-conservative English-language Iranian daily Kayhan International urged Muslim countries to establish a paramilitary force patterned after Iran's Basij, [5] in order to prevent "all meddling powers from coveting Muslim territories… Iran is ready to share its experiences in that field with other countries... If the Islamic world were to mobilize its vast material and manpower resources, then no meddler would ever dare think of casting its covetous eyes at Muslim lands... Therefore, the avowed goal of the liberation of Jerusalem and the elimination of the cancerous tumor called Israel will come much sooner than expected."

The daily added, "It is the heroism and the awe of the word Basij that have deterred the global arrogance [i.e. the U.S. and the West] from trying any new military adventure against the territorial integrity of Islamic Iran and its resolve to achieve scientific and technological [i.e. nuclear] progress."

The daily stated that Iran was proud of its indebtedness to the Basij for presenting the regime of the Islamic Republic of Iran as a worthy model of emulation for other Muslim and oppressed countries determined "to fight the decadent culture of Western liberal democracy." [6]

4. Muslim Journalists' Association Secretary-General Parviz Esmaeili

In an interview, Iranian Muslim Journalists' Association [7] Secretary-General Parviz Esmaeili, who writes for the Iranian English-language daily Tehran Times, told the Iranian Students News Agency (ISNA): "I believe that the martyrdom of the journalists [killed in the December 6, 2005 crash of a C-130 military transport plane due to engine failure] was because of U.S. state terrorism... The U.S has imposed sanctions on Iran since the Islamic Revolution in 1979. Washington even refuses to provide Iran with technological necessities, even in cases when lives could be saved... The fact that it plays with people's lives and does not provide them with their basic necessities for political reasons shows that the U.S. government has a terrorist mentality... Even U.S. citizens have been victimized by Washington's violent terrorist policies... If the roots of the September 11 attacks were to be carefully investigated, it would be revealed that the people who were killed in the attacks were actually the victims of the brutal terrorist policies of the U.S. government and not phantom players like Al-Qaeda..." [8]

On Shahada
1. Guardian Council Secretary Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati [9]

The Iranian Students' News Agency (ISNA) recently quoted Guardian Council Secretary Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati as saying: "If there is a regime known as an 'Islamic regime,' we owe it to the shahids [martyrs]. Without the shahids, our dear youths with the living Islamic spirit would not have remained [alive]. Everything we have is thanks to the shahids..."

On the culture of Shahada in the early days of Islam, Jannati said: "If not for the shahids of [the battles of] Uhud and Badr, [10] the enemies would not have enabled the Prophet [Mohammad] to shout and demand justice..."

Jannati praised the shahids of Karbala, saying: "If not for the shahids of Karbala, Moawiya would have buried the name of the Prophet, and Islam would have been destroyed [11]... If man does not benefit from the virtues of shahada and does not tell of the experience of the shahids, and forgets the values that created the shahids, he [becomes] like an animal...

"The non-Muslims are [like] those animals that graze, chew their cud, and cause corruption. However, we [too] do not properly recognize the value of the shahids in the world of Islam."

Jannati also discussed the spirituality that evolved in the soul of the Imam, i.e. Ayatollah Khomenei, saying: "Were it not for Imam Khomenei, there would be no shahada on the battlefield. The Imam [Khomenei] came, extolled shahada, and opened the gates of Paradise, and our young people ran towards this gate with love. The entire world, even the non-Islamic world, is indebted to the shahids. These programs revive us, and cause the blood of love and of Islam to flow within us. It is like a man hungry, thirsty, and dying suddenly given food; he is infused with a new spirit, and he becomes alive. The spirit of man requires sustenance, and if sustenance is not forthcoming, it will die. This [shahada] is a kind of such nourishment." [12]

2. Expediency Council Chairman Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani [13]

In a speech to a conference of the Martyred Commanders and Members of the Basij, Expediency Council Chairman Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani stated that "sacrifice for the sake of God is the best way chosen by a human being, and that if a human being makes a sacrifice for God, he or she will get closer to the Almighty. We should pay tribute to the martyrs and their lofty souls. They sacrificed themselves for the sake of God and they will be rewarded by the Almighty... They set a magnificent example of glorious life." [14]

Holocaust Denial and Attitude Towards Jews

1. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

After stating, in October 2005, that "very soon, the stain of this disgrace [i.e. Israel] will be purged from the center of the Islamic world," Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad went on to make a series of orchestrated remarks in which he repeatedly stressed that the Holocaust was a "myth," and proposed that Europe take the Jews back or else settle them elsewhere in the world. [15]

The Iranian reaction to the ensuing condemnation by the international community of Ahmadinejad's statements included the insistence by official Iranian leaders and spokesmen that Ahmadinejad's statements regarding the "myth of the Holocaust" were correct and the recruiting of local press and media to support Holocaust denial and the transfer of the State of Israel to Europe or, for that matter, anywhere else. Iran has been a mouthpiece for known Holocaust deniers throughout the world, hosting them in the country and systematically publishing their statements in the Iranian media.

It is also claimed by senior Iranian officials that Ahmadinejad is in effect saying nothing new with regard to the Holocaust, the Jews, and Israel, and that he has been expressing the official Iranian view for years. At the same time, in an attempt to divert the discussion from Iranian leaders' Holocaust denial, Iranian spokesmen have espoused the argument that Ahmadinejad has actually launched a "legitimate scholarly debate" about the question of whether the Holocaust actually took place.

The following are excerpts of remarks made by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at a press conference at the conclusion of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) meeting that took place in Mecca, Saudi Arabia in early December: "...The question is, where did those who rule today in Palestine, as an occupation regime, come from? Where were they born? Where did their parents live? They have no roots in Palestine, but they took the fate of Palestine into their hands and turned its natives into refugees...

"Some European countries are insisting on saying that Hitler burned millions of oppressed Jews in crematoria. They insist so much on this issue that if someone proves the opposite, they convict him and throw him into prison. Although we do not accept this claim [about the annihilation of European Jewry], let's assume that it is true, and we ask the Europeans: Does the killing of oppressed Jews by Hitler [justify] their support for the regime that is occupying Jerusalem?... Please, give a part of Europe, and we too will support this...

"Jews [i.e. anti-Zionist Jewish groups such as Neturei Karta] throughout the world have been supporting Palestine for the past 70 years. On the geographic map of the region, there is no country called 'The Zionist Regime'...

"My question is this: Aren't the countries of Europe insisting that during World War II there was killing of Jews? They say that Hitler annihilated and burned some Jews in crematoria, and turned the Jews into refugees. And because the Jews were oppressed in World War [2] then they [the European countries] must support a regime that occupies Jerusalem. We do not accept this argument [about the annihilation of European Jewry], but European countries believe in this so much, and insist on it, to the point that they take the harshest of legal measures against any researcher who contradicts this claim and presents historical evidence. They imprison him and condemn him.

"If you [Europeans] think that you committed an injustice against the Jews, why must the Muslims and the Palestinians pay the price for it? All right, you oppressed [the Jews]. So put some of Europe at the disposal of this Zionist regime, and we will support any government that you establish there. Support it as much as your heart desires, [even if it includes] monetary and military aid. [But] how can you give some of the Islamic world and the lands of the Palestinians [to the Zionists]?

"You claim that Hitler committed crimes. Why must the Palestinian children and women pay the price for this crime? Europe is a flowering continent; Germany is the country that claims it killed the Jews, and recently, in Austria, a scientist who claimed that the Holocaust was a lie was arrested and tried. Germany and Austria should place a district, or two, or three, as much as they want, at the disposal of the Zionist regime, and will establish there a state that all Europe will support. Thus the problem will be solved from the roots. Why are they insisting on imposing themselves upon the rest of the powers, and putting here [in the Middle East] a growth that is always in conflict and tension [with the Islamic world]? This is the proposal..." [16]

Addressing a crowd of thousands on December 14, 2005, during a tour of Sistan-Beluchistan Province, Ahmadinejad called the Holocaust a "myth." He said: "There were those who created a myth about the Holocaust and insisted on it, even more than on the belief in the religion and the prophets. When a man expresses his lack of belief in God, the religion, and the prophets, they do not oppose him - but they will rise up against anyone who rejects the [claim regarding the truth] of the Holocaust... Those who support freedom of expression, democracy, and human rights are exploiting the propagandist media [in order to protest] against my clear and documented claims and to criticize me and say that the Iranian president is not capable of living in the civilized world... If your civilization is made up of aggression, of transferring the oppressed nations [from their territory], of repressing the voices of the seekers of justice, and of spreading injustice and poverty among most of the people on Earth, then we say this loud and clear: We scorn your hollow civilization." [17]

The following are additional excerpts from the same speech, which was broadcast by Iran's Channel 1 on December 14, 2005. (To view the clip, visit http://www.memritv.org/search.asp?ACT=S9&P1=963 .)

"If you [Europeans] are correct in saying that you killed six million Jews in World War II... If you are correct in saying that you burnt six million Jews in crematoria - You must be right since you insist on making this claim, and since you arrest, convict, and imprison anyone who dissents... You condemn even your scholars who object to this - So we ask you: If you indeed committed this great crime, why should the oppressed people of Palestine be punished for it? If you committed a crime, you yourselves should pay for it.

"Our offer was and remains as follows: If you committed a crime, it is only appropriate that you place a piece of your land at their disposal - in Europe, America, Canada, or Alaska - so they can establish their own state. Rest assured that if you do so, the Iranian people will voice no objection."

In response to journalists' questions on human rights and the Holocaust, President Ahmadinejad said: "I have raised three points before world public opinion:

"One, there should be a distinction between Zionism and Judaism. In the Islamic countries, such as Iran, Palestine, and so on, the Jews have always enjoyed a life of security and tranquility, and religious freedom. They have enjoyed [this] and will continue to enjoy [it]. But Zionism itself is a Western ideology and a colonialist idea, with secular ideas and fascist methods, which was founded by the English. So far, with the help and direct guidance of America and part of Europe, [Zionism] is slaughtering the Muslims.

"Two, the historic foundation that they built in order to legitimize Zionism is the issue of the slaughter of the Jews by the German army. With regard to the number of these victims, there are in Europe itself two views - the first is the official one and the second is the unofficial one. But this matter has never been presented for a free scientific debate, and has become a red line and a myth that cannot be discussed. We of course maintain that human life from any ethnic, racial, or religious group must be respected, and that no one has the right to carry out ethnic, racial, or religious cleansing, and we condemn this.

"Three, however, if we assume that in this historical narrative, there is no exaggeration, and Jews were indeed killed in these numbers, why take vengeance upon the Muslims? Why doesn't Europe - which itself carried out this crime - pay the price? An important question that the Western countries and media must answer clearly is: What crime did they [i.e. the Westerners] commit at that time that the Zionists are not committing today? In essence, Zionism is a new Fascism... When I saw the [European] irritability that emerged in reaction to the ordinary presentation of a question, I asked myself what sensitive nerve this question had touched.

"It should be noted that antisemitism was an ancient tradition in Europe itself, and that in the Islamic world the Jews always lived comfortably. A question that penetrated into my brain and that I now raise is: Don't you think that one of the important goals [of the Europeans in] creating the artificial regime 'which occupies Jerusalem' and causes the Jews of Europe to emigrate there is the continuation of this same antisemitism? That is, the [Europeans'] aim was to expel the Jews from Europe, in a kind of ethnic and religious cleansing. But the best way to eradicate the Jews from all Europe was to build a Jewish camp in an Islamic region so that they would kill two birds with one stone. That is, that they would expel the Jews from Europe and also create, in the heart of the Islamic world, a [European] enclave with a Zionist and anti-Islamic essence, with a show of misery in the name of the Jews? Don't you think that this is an important question? Ask anyone who has something to say in this matter to answer it." [18]

2. Assembly of Experts Head Ayatollah 'Ali Meshkini

In his December 17, 2005 Friday sermon in the city of Qom, which was broadcast on Iranian Channel 2, Assembly of Experts head Ayatollah 'Ali Meshkini joined in the Holocaust denial. [19] (To view the clip, visit http://www.memritv.org/search.asp?ACT=S9&P1=969.)

"Following World War II, the Jews... The Zionists tried to present themselves as oppressed, and [thus] to gain opportunities in the world. They invented a false claim. They said that Hitler, the Germans, and the Austrians burned six million Jews in crematoria - six million Jews. They tried very hard to convince the world that this issue, this lie, was true, and they succeeded.

"The U.N. and several countries officially validated the claim that six million Jews were burned by the Germans and Austrians. The purpose was to show the world how oppressed the Jews were. They officially validated this claim.

"I heard them making these claims in the Shah's time as well. They called it Holo... Holocaust. I'm not sure if the word 'holocaust' comes from Hebrew or French, but it means to burn human beings in crematoria. That's what it means.

"They proved that the Holocaust occurred, and that people... the Jews were oppressed. That's what they claimed.

"What did our president say? He said something reasonable to the Europeans: 'If you accept this claim, and say that the Germans and Austrians indeed killed six million Jews, and that this was perpetrated by the Germans and Austrians... If you accept this claim, give the Israelis a place to establish their state in your countries. Why are you making the Palestinians pay the price for this? If this is true, the Palestinians are the oppressed ones. On the other hand, if you don't accept this claim, why do you arrest anyone who claims in Germany or England who claims the Holocaust was a lie? Why do you try them and put them in jail?'

"What the president said makes sense, and I hope that, Allah willing, you accept this..."

3. Ayatollah Mohyeddin Haeri-Shirazi

The representative of Iranian Leader Ali Khamenei for the Fars Province, Ayatollah Haeri-Shirazi, said in his December 23, 2005 Friday sermon in the city of Shiraz that "the supposed massacre of six million Jews in Germany, after imposing hard labor against them, in concentration camps, known as the Holocaust, is a sheer historic lie... They have now devised an international law according to which no one is allowed to raise doubts against the authenticity of that fabricated story, and made such practice punishable by imprisonment... The Iranian president called the Holocaust a myth, quite righteously, recently, but if in Europe swearing at God and messengers of Allah is common practice and considered freedom of expression, why is expressing doubt against the Holocaust a punishable crime there?..." [20]

4. Ultra-conservative Daily Kayhan Editor Hossein Shari'atmadari

The editor of the ultra-conservative daily Kayhan, Hossein Shari'atmadari, who is close to Iranian Leader Ali Khamenei, wrote an article titled "The Holocaust is Not a Myth," in which he claimed that the true Holocaust was the Holocaust in which Christian believers were burned alive by the Jews in Yemen, prior to the emergence of Islam. [21] The following are excerpts from his article:

"1. This terrible event [the true Holocaust] took place in Yemen, in an interval between the appearance of Jesus and [the era] of Muhammad's prophecy. The Jewish king Zu-Nuas of Yemen stood, with the Jewish rabbis around him, in front of a deep pit in which a large fire was kindled. On the other side there kneeled a very large group of men, women, and children chained and surrounded by soldiers and the generals of Zu-Nuas' army. The cry of the women, the sighs of the men, and the heartbreaking weeping of the children fills the air.

"The great rabbi of the Jews turns to Zu-Nuas and reads aloud [Zu-Nuas's] verdict upon the prisoners, who are a large group of Yemenite men, women, and children. This is in the time before the appearance of Islam. Several years beforehand, the people of Yemen had accepted Christianity. Some time previously, Zu-Nuas, the King of Yemen, had accepted Judaism, and now he announces the terrible sentence from the great rabbi in his court.

"The prisoners have only two choices: Either they declare their rejection of Christianity and acceptance of Judaism, or they will be burned in the blazing fire. But the prisoners, who were among the faithful believers in Jesus, do not relinquish their faith. And then... they are all thrown alive into the fire and burned, by order of the Jewish king. Neither are the children spared from being burned alive in the fire of the rage of the king and of the Jewish rabbis. Their crime is that their parents were believing Christians, and worshippers of God. This terrible event is related thus in the Al-Buruj chapter [of the Koran]...

"This terrible event and this shameful crime by the cruel Jews is the first documented [occurrence of the] mass burning of living people.

"2. The root of the word 'holocaust' is Greek. Today, [the word] is used to mark a slaughter by means of mass burning of people by fire. Some linguists maintain that the term is taken from the crime that the Jews committed in Yemen of old, and that gradually, over time, it took on a more general meaning, and became a term indicating burning people alive. From the second half of the 19th century [sic] and some years after the end of World War II, the term 'holocaust' has taken on a special meaning in political culture, and has since then become also a special name for the affair of the slaughter of six million Jews during World War II by the Nazis. This affair, which is actually a fabricated story, is called 'the Holocaust.'

"In the early part of the eighth decade of the 19th century [sic], some members of the International Jewish Agency, which included [the historian] Pierre Vidal-Naquet, Serge Weils [sic], and [the historian] Francois Bedarida, and was led by Rene-Samuel Sprat [apparently a reference to Rene-Samuel Sirat], the famous rabbi of France, relied on the false story of the slaughter of six million Jews in World War II. So that the injustice caused to this [religious] group would not be forgotten, they prepared a bill and brought it to ratification in France in July 1990.

"According to this law, casting any doubt on 'the Holocaust' including casting doubt on the ostensible slaughter of the Jews during World War II, [casting doubt] on the existence of the gas chambers, and even casting the slightest doubt on the number of the six million Jews who were killed, constitutes an offense! Anyone who violates this law in France and casts doubts on the three issues noted receives a sentence of a month to a year of imprisonment, and a fine of Fr2,000 to 300,000!

"Later, under pressure from America, England, France, and the Zionist Agency, this law was ratified also in the other European countries. The situation is such that today in Europe, any attempt to cast doubt on the so-called 'Holocaust' or on its scope and details is an offense!

"3. Recently, at a press conference, his honor President Ahmadinejad called the affair of the slaughter of six million Jews by the Nazis during World War II a falsified story, and said that if the countries of the West accept this fabricated story and wish to console the Jews, they can, as compensation for this slaughter, give the Jews part of their lands, primarily a district or two in Germany and Austria, so that they can establish a state there. He asked why the oppressed Muslims of Palestine must pay the price for the West's crimes against the Jews...

"Unfortunately, people and groups within Iran also saw the President's statements as imprudent, and assessed that statements of this kind cause intensification in the West's hostility against Islamic Iran.

"4. The hostile reaction of the enemies from without, like the reaction of some of the unvigilant people at home, to Ahmadinejad's statements comes even though:

"a) [The president's] statements about the untruth of the affair of the six million Jews in World War II is based on proven documents that cannot be doubted historically.

"b) [Ahmadinejad's] proposal to give some of the land of the countries of the West to the Zionists is the logical conclusion that stems from the Europeans' big lie about the 'Holocaust' - the slaughter and burning of six million Jews - and if they [themselves] do not believe this lie, they should not rely on it and present the occupation of the land of Palestine as justified. If they accept this big lie, they themselves must pay the price for the crime committed against six million Jews.

"5. [...] From the Renaissance up until today, the Europeans, and particularly the French, speak bitterly about the black years of the Middle Ages, and see the trials of the Inquisition, including the forcing of Galileo to recant his statements, as shameful, and as a sign of disgrace in history. All this was done when Europe and America are acting with regard to the 'Holocaust' according to the same shameful laws, that lack any shred of sense or wisdom. This is only one example of the concept of freedom of thought and the show of democracy in the West! Why?! Read on:

"6. To date, dozens of prominent European historians and hundreds of famous lecturers and well-known experts in the research of historical documents have presented documents on whose authenticity no intelligent person can cast even the slightest doubt. They have proven by an absolutely scientific method that the affair of the slaughter of six million Jews, the crematoria, the gas chambers, and everything that the Zionists claim in this matter is a complete lie and a fabricated story, whose aim is not purely political but essentially criminal. You may be surprised to learn - of course, you won't be surprised if you look at democracy from the Western point of view - that all of these European scientists and researchers, without exception - and I stress, without exception - were tried, and sentenced to prison and fined! [This was] only because their scientific research was different from what the European countries accepted and approved with regard to the 'Holocaust.'

"The Western countries do not answer the question of how it is possible to claim [to maintain in their countries] freedom of thought and belief while - for scientific and documented studies by various scientists on the Zionists' baseless claim and tales - these scientists and researchers are [considered] eligible to stand trial, to be imprisoned, and to be fined?!

"7. The number of prominent scientists and researchers whose results, from their scientific and documented studies, point at the untruth of the 'holocaust,' and who for this reason alone were tried, convicted, and denounced by the research community of the European countries, is too great for their names to be included in this limited article. Only by way of example and thought can we note Professor Roger Garaudy; Professor Robert Faurisson; Professor [Theis] Christopherson, author of the famous book The Lie of Auschwitz [sic, The Auschwitz Legends: An Account of his Experiences], and the authors of hundreds of other scientific essays that have proved the untruth of the story of the slaughter of the Jews in Nazi Germany...

"8. Of these, the stories of Professor Robert Faurisson and Professor Roger Garaudy, both French, are new and teach us a lesson. Professor Robert Faurisson lectures at the well-known University of Lyon in France and is a senior expert of research and evaluation of historical documents and certificates, and has a global reputation. He collected his scientific and documented studies in a book called The Gas Chambers: Reality or Legend? [sic]. The book was also translated into Persian, by Seyyed Abu Al-Farid Zia Al-Dini.

"He examined dozens of documents in this area, and during years of research visited all the centers where the Zionists claim [the slaughter took place], such as the gas chambers, the fabricated museum of the crematoria, Dachau in Munich, etc. He conducted precise and scientific conversations with hundreds of witnesses, and ultimately showed, with no interpretation and by means of documents only, that the affair of the slaughter of the Jews in Nazi Germany is a great historic lie and a shameful deception of public opinion.

"The same can be expected from the barbaric Zionists. For example, Faurisson referred to the fabricated photographs of the gas chambers that the Zionists claimed existed. He rejected this claim based on unshakeable documentation, and asked in amazement: If these photos are true, how is it that the German soldiers ostensibly stand in rooms full of lethal gas and observe the dying of the doomed Jews, without masks and without covering even a bit of their faces, noses, and eyes?!

"With regard to another photo that the Zionists claim [is true] and which shows some Jews surrounded by some tanks, he presents interesting and incontrovertible documents and evidence, and shows that the tanks in the picture were English and not German, etc.

"9. For decades, the European countries and America have relied on this fabricated story and presented the establishment of the illegitimate state of Israel - which our late Imam [Ayatollah Khomeini] called a 'cancerous growth' - as something legal. They see the occupation of Palestine as the price that must be paid to the Jews to compensate them for the crimes of Nazi Germany against them. While:

"a) The slaughter of the Jews in WWII is a fabricated story and far from reality - so how is it possible to use this fabricated story as a certificate of legitimacy for the barbaric state of the Zionists?!

"b) If America, Europe, and the Zionists insist on seeing this story as true, why, instead of the original criminals - that is, the Nazis, today's Germany and Austria - must the oppressed Muslims of Palestine pay the price for this war crime?! And why aren't they giving some districts of Germany and Austria to the Jews in order to console them?!

"Based on what rational reason and logical and legal interpretation must the Muslims of Palestine on the Asian continent pay the price for the Europeans' crime?!

"I have been writing for over an hour, after a full day. I am tired, but there is more to tell. I hope that I have succeeded in writing a little of what can be told."

5. Blood Libel on Iranian TV

In a current-events program broadcast on Iran TV on December 20, 2005, Iranian commentators Dr. Hasan Hanizadeh, who writes for the Tehran Times, and Dr. Ali-Reza Akbari stated that "the Jews killed children and used their blood for Passover." (To view the clip, visit http://www.memritv.org/search.asp?ACT=S9&P1=972.) The following is the transcript:

Ali-Reza Akbari: "Historians and eye-witnesses, some of whom are still alive... There are still many people who saw with their own eyes what happened 70-80 years ago. These people are alive and are of sound mind. They still possess the analytical abilities they had back then. They are our witnesses, and they deny the existence of crematoria at a place called Auschwitz.

"Perhaps the reason... In my opinion, the people who say that the phenomenon of burning Jews on German soil during the World War II crisis is similar to a holocaust do so as a result of propaganda and due to psychological reasons.

"In any event, a case of burning people has been registered in history, when many human beings were burned because of their beliefs. The people who were burned then were, in fact, Christians. They were burned by the people who ruled Yemen, who were Jews. This event took place 400 years before the advent of Islam in the Arabian Peninsula. Since then, the burning of human beings has been termed 'holocaust.' [...]

Host: "Were there six million Jews at all at that time, who could have been annihilated in the crematoria?

Hasan Hanizadeh: "First of all, this figure is greatly exaggerated. The number of Jews in the world does not exceed 12 million. Only now, 57 years later, has it reached this figure. Clearly, at that time, considering the dispersion of the Jews, there could not have been six million Jews in Europe alone. In any event, the Zionist lobby and the Jewish Agency use this issue as a club with which they beat and extort the West.

"Unfortunately, the West has forgotten two horrendous incidents, carried out by the Jews in 19th-century Europe - in Paris and London, to be precise. In 1883, about 150 French children were murdered in a horrible way in the suburbs of Paris, before the Jewish Passover holiday. Later research showed that the Jews had killed them and taken their blood. This event caused riots in Paris back then, and the French government found itself under pressure.

"A similar incident took place in London, when many English children were killed by Jewish rabbis. These two incidents still haunt the minds and souls of the Europeans, but due to the growing influence of the Zionist lobby in Europe - or to be precise, the influence of the Jews - these two incidents are, unfortunately, never mentioned."

6. Holocaust Denial on Iranian TV

In a current events program broadcast by the Iranian News Channel (IRINN), on December 27, 2005, political analyst Hosein Rouyvaran made the claim that the crematoria and gas chambers were actually used for "hygienic, not political, purposes." The host was Mohammad Sajedi and they were joined by another guest, Muhammad Abu Jihad, Palestinian Islamic Jihad representative in Iran. (To view the clip, visit http://www.memritv.org/search.asp?ACT=S9&P1=982.) The following are excerpts from the discussion:

Political analyst Hosein Rouyvaran: "The number of Jews in the world (before World War II) was about 13 million. After World War II, the number of Jews in the world was over 12 million. The killing of six million Jews in the crematoria is a myth, not a fact, as proven by geography. Furthermore, as Mr. Abu Jihad has stated, 50 million people were killed in World War II. Why do they focus on the figure of six million, even if we assume this figure is correct? In addition, during World War II, many massacres were committed against humanity. We have Nagasaki, Hiroshima, and the city of Larson in Germany. In the city of Larson alone... Perhaps this hasn't been dealt with extensively... In several days of bombardment, 135,000 people were killed in this city. Many massacres... Many crimes against humanity were committed in World War II.

"There's another matter. In the discussion of the Holocaust the issue of four detention facilities is raised: Auschwitz, Struthof, Mauthausen, and Majdanek. Some were in Germany, and some in Poland. There are many issues worthy of discussion: For hygienic reasons, they used to burn the bodies of those who died of typhus or contagious diseases. This means the crematoria were used for hygienic, not political, purposes, and even this was not systematically. That's one thing. The crematoria... The gas chambers were for disinfecting the clothes and the possessions of the prisoners. This too was done for hygienic reasons. In any case, the many researchers who studied this issue said that of the several millions who died in the detention facilities, only 150,000 to 250,000 were Jews. This is a perfectly reasonable figure out of the total number of victims. There is no need to focus on this issue, to discuss it separately, or to present inflated estimates." […]

Host Mohammad Sajedi: "Let's assume that six million Jews perished. Who killed them? Even if this is true, why should the Muslims pay the price? The Europeans themselves should bear the consequences. Is this analysis correct?"

Hosein Rouyvaran: "Yes, of course. It's certainly true. The Jews in Europe lived in isolation from the European society for social reasons. Either they lived in ghettos - areas segregated from society -or else the Europeans isolated them, and there was racist behavior towards the Jews. Or maybe the Jews had a tendency to set themselves apart. At any rate, the Europeans were not friendly towards the Jews, and did not regard them as part of their society. Consequently, and as a result of the unique economic activity of the Jews in Europe, the Europeans wanted to liberate themselves from the Jews. There were other reasons too. The Zionist movement raised the issue of the Holocaust. All kinds of pretexts were used to enable Europe to liberate itself from the Jews." […]

Muhammad Abu Jihad, Palestinian Islamic Jihad representative in Iran: "When I read about the Holocaust from the historical perspective, I came across some documents about an agreement between the Zionist Movement and the leaders of Nazi Germany. The agreement was negotiated in 1937. At the time, the Jews were leading normal lives in Europe, and did not want to emigrate to Palestine, which was presented as their homeland in the Balfour Declaration. The Jews did not want to emigrate, but this agreement was secret, and it was signed by the leaders of the world Zionist movement. To be specific, among the witnesses to this agreement were Ben-Gurion, who was in Germany at the time, and Golda Meir, who was in Poland." […]

Hosein Rouyvaran: "At the end of World War II, the Nuremberg Court was established as a new means used by international law. Many of those prosecuted were accused of killing Jews in the crematoria. America applied a double standard here. Those who committed crimes against humanity... America was one of the victors in World War II. Therefore, they only prosecuted (people) from the other side. Those who committed various crimes in Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and Larson, were not prosecuted."

7. Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi

Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi said that Europe's criticism of Ahmadinejad's statements "deviated from diplomatic norms" and added: "I'm surprised by the reaction to these comments... The Zionist regime cannot use the killing of a number of Jews, which no one, including Muslims, condones, as a pretext to continue its policies of oppression…

"It [Ahmadinejad's remarks] wasn't anything new, we have said that before. The Europeans are trying to divert the issue and sabotage the real message. Why don't the Europeans want to listen to others? They just support one side. [Even] if some of the Jews have been mistreated, there is no excuse for Israel to play the victim in the region and to pressure [other] countries in the region."

"There was even an idea to create a Jewish state in Argentina. There should be a logical response to what the president said, not a polemic... What Ahmadinejad said was important. Why should we not let researchers carry out research? We cannot close the door on research. We cannot prevent people from doubting. We even doubt the existence of God, so why not express doubts on other subjects?" [22]

8. Former Iranian President Mohammad Khatami

In a meeting with high-ranking Shi'ite cleric in Lebanon Sheikh Muhammad Hussein Fadlallah, former Iranian president Mohammad Khatami, who is currently serving as advisor to Iran's Supreme National Security Council, [23] said: "There is no one in Iran who wants the destruction of a state and a nation. The Iranian nation is only condemning the repression of the Palestinians by the Zionist regime, the failure to permit the refugees to return to their homeland, and the injustice that is in the programs of the Palestinian cause... If the destruction of a state and a nation is evil, then why has there been an effort, over 50 years, to eradicate the Palestinian state and people, and why is the world not reacting to this?" [24]

9. Kayhan International Daily Newspaper

The ultraconservative daily Kayhan International criticized U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan for not expressing support for Ahmadinejad's proposal "for the relocation of the Zionists to their homeland Europe." Annan's "sickening statement" on Ahmadinejad's remarks was "surprising," the daily stated. "Instead of behaving as the respectable head of the world body by endorsing the Iranian president's solution, the U.N. head chose to sacrifice the honor and dignity of Black Africa at the altar of white supremacists by supporting the myth of the holocaust."

The paper stated that the Americans and Europeans "can help undo the injustice of the recent past against the Palestinians by organizing a massive airlift of all Zionists to somewhere in the vast stretches of North America, where they can have the state and government of their choice... Muslim states will certainly lend their efforts for the peaceful transportation of all Zionists from the sacred soil of Palestine to the New World... the Muslim Ummah [nation] firmly believes in cleansing Palestinian soil [of] the filth of Zionism." [25]

10. Newspapers and News Agencies

The English-language daily Tehran Times and the Iranian Mehr News Agency have published, nearly every day for the past two weeks, interviews with Holocaust deniers and with individuals expressing support for President Ahmadinejad's statements. The following are a few of these items:

a) Tehran Times, December 12, 2005: "Holocaust Commemoration Strengthens Jewish-Zionist Power."

b) Tehran Times, December 20, 2005: "No Pogroms Here."

c) Tehran Times, December 25, 2005: "Historians, Researchers Back Iranian President's View on Holocaust."

d) Mehr News Agency, December 19, 2005; Tehran Times, December 26, 2005: "Holocaust Supporters Shun Rational Discussion and Debate," Paul Fromm, director of the Canadian Association for Free Expression.

e) Mehr News Agency, December 26, 2005: "Israel has Created a Real Holocaust for the Palestinians," Dr. Abdullah Mohammad Sindi.

f) Mehr News Agency, December 28, 2005: "Israel was Built on a Lie," Frederick Toben, director of the Adelaide Institute.

g) On December 13, 2005, Iranian TV channel 1, broadcast an interview with Holocaust denier Roger Garaudy. To view the clip, visit http://www.memritv.org/search.asp?ACT=S9&P1=965.

Challenges Facing Islam

1. Iranian President Ahmadinejad

In a speech marking the "Day of Unity between Universities and Seminaries," President Ahmadinejad condemned the countries that "suppress any voice under the pretext of maintaining freedom of expression, and impose medieval values and manners in modern disguise on [other] nations." He further expressed his confidence that all kinds of oppression would come to an end once the rule of Islam prevailed worldwide. [26]

During a recent visit to Sistan-Beluchistan Province, Ahmadinejad said: "Islam is the only way to salvation open to humanity... as the most recent and most complete religion of the world, only Islam has all the answers to every human question." [27]

In his speech at the Organization of the Islamic Conference in early December, Ahmadinejad said: "[...] Unfortunately, the Islamic world faces many serious problems and challenges. I will mention some of them:

a) "The lack of consolidation and coordination amongst the Islamic countries in the spheres of regional and global policy.

b) "The effort by the enemies of Islam to create division in the ranks of the Muslims.

c) "Military and political intervention by the regime of the Arrogance [the U.S.]

d) "Weakness in self-confidence and internal faith in parts of the Islamic world.

e) "An organized attack by the materialistic and destructive culture and morality.

f) "Poverty and unemployment in parts of the Islamic world.

g) "Scientific and technical backwardness in many parts [of the Islamic world].

h) "The presence of the Zionist occupation regime in the heart of the Islamic region.

"...The oppressing regime in occupied Palestine is the most important obstacle, and causes the Islamic nation collective concern. Judicious removal of this fear [i.e. Israel] will pave the way to the appearance of Islam's power in successful management of global [matters]. It is unnecessary to point out that there is no logical way to recognize this false regime. The acceptance [of the existence] of [this] oppressing regime means making humanity despair of attaining viable peace and tranquility, and giving a seal of approval to oppression, arrogance, and domination. The only way - which is both the wise way and is compatible with the international rules - is the return of the Palestinian refugees, [and] the holding of a referendum with the involvement of all the original Palestinians, including Muslims, Christians, and Jews, in order to determine the type of regime in all of Palestine, whose capital is holy Jerusalem.

"There is a need for a group from the Organization of the Islamic Conference to take care of this matter, as a representative of the Islamic nation.

"Some of the Islamic countries are exposed to threats from the superpowers. If the enemies of Islam, and those who wish it ill, do not come up against a suitable reaction on the part of the Islamic countries, there will be no end to their trespassing. A threat to [any] Islamic country must be seen as a threat to all Islamic countries. A joint defensive and security alliance, and its ratification, will prevent these threats.

"The Islamic countries constitute more than a fifth of the population of the world, and thus they must have an appropriate role in the international decision-making bodies. The presence of a representative from the Islamic countries in the U.N. Security Council would ensure world peace, tranquility, and justice." [28]

2. Former Iranian President Mohammad Khatami

Former Iranian president Mohammad Khatami, who is identified with the "reform-seekers" camp that was pushed out of the Iranian political arena, and who is now promoting his "Dialogue among Civilizations" initiative throughout the world, called on the world's intellectuals "to [act] to get rid of … 'Islamophobia.'" Addressing a high-ranking U.N. team on the Alliance of Civilizations initiative in Barcelona, [29] Khatami said: "The West is not right with its Islamophobia, because terrorism has nothing to do with Islam and is, on the contrary, against principles of the peace-seeking and philanthropic divine religion.... Terrorism is a phenomenon which does not discriminate [among] Muslims, Christians, and Jews, and all should unite to uproot it."

At the same time, Khatami attacked the West, saying: "The world of Islam is, more than ever, being targeted by the West. Western civilization has gained major achievements, a main part of which it owes to Islam... The Western approach has gone to the extent that it does not have any belief in other civilizations and cultures due to its being based on individualism." [30]

Human Rights

1. In answer to journalists' questions on human rights, Iranian President Ahmadinejad said: "For us, 'human rights' is not a propaganda tool. This matter is not only important to us, but it is also sacred... We agree to conduct a dialogue on this with others. In principle, we claim that the dialogue [in this matter] need not take place with [only] a few particular countries, or for the sake of accomplishing political and propaganda goals. I maintain that the entire world must talk about this directly, logically, and out of mutual equality. On this matter, I must stress two points:

a) "The theoretical foundations of 'human rights' must be completely transparent and logical. If certain people are interested in spreading [human rights] of the liberal kind throughout the world, and in disconnecting human rights from religion, they must present sufficient reasons and prove this philosophically and through absolutely logical, equal, public, and scientific debate. The debate cannot be made scientific by means of threats and pressure. I suggest starting a series of scientific forums on the highest level between Islamic intellectuals and European intellectuals on the subject of 'The Foundations of Human Rights.' The Iranian government will act to establish this forum, on condition that this scientific debate will not be censored by the Western media and that the results of these discussions will be presented to all thinkers on the international level, so that they can give their opinion on them.

b) "On the practical level as well, there is a need to address 'human rights' fairly and not instrumentally so that it serves the dominating power [of the West] and the colonialist trends. Also in this matter, I propose a work method by which we prepare a list of all the instances of human rights violations and we judge all the countries. This means that we will send representatives in order to prepare a report on the state of freedom of speech and writing, the state of the prisons, and the state of women and children in the European countries. They [the Europeans] also will do the same thing in Iran. [Then] we will summarize [these reports] and present it for the judgment of world public opinion; we will not censor the results and we will also not publish it in a biased way. Under these terms, I agree to any dialogue with any country on any level on the subject of human rights, on condition that 'scientific [standards]' and 'fairness and equality' are observed..." [31]

2. In his address at the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) meeting in early December, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, said: "Unfortunately, many citizens, minorities, and immigrants in some of the countries, particularly those [countries] that claim to be democratic, are considered second-class citizens, and are treated unjustly and with discrimination. It is hereby proposed to establish an Islamic human rights organization, in order to monitor the behavior of the various countries in human rights matters, and to publish an annual report that will help actualize human rights..." [32]

Majlis, Students, and Belief

In a meeting with Iranian Education Ministry personnel, Ayatollah Meshkini, who is also the Friday preacher for Qom, said: "I was very dissatisfied with the previous [reformist] Majlis. Every time I listened to their debates, I would be fearful about what they were going to ratify. I thank God that the [current conservative] Majlis has gone back to being like it should be. So far, we are satisfied...

"On Al-Qadr night, they submit the list of work to be carried out to the Hidden Imam, and He signs it. [33] I think that the list of the members of the Seventh Majlis was also submitted to him, and he signed [it]. If, God forbid, the Seventh Majlis takes any step against the will of God, we will say that we were mistaken...

"Unfortunately, in recent years there has been a drop in the level of faith and spirituality of some pupils and students. By the grace of God, we have in this country many students and pupils who are committed [to the values of Islam and the regime], and they can be used." [34]

Economic Perspectives

As a capitalist faithful to his demand for a market economy, Rafsanjani told the Second International Conference on Quality Control and Global Trade that Iran "must take into account the world horizon. We are committed to advancing competition [in Iran] and facilitating our presence in international markets. Whether we like it or not, globalization is progress that no one can stop. Today, the information explosion is accelerating globalization... No country can restrict itself to its geographical borders, and all countries must maintain relations with the international community... In order to compete in [global] industrial and commercial efforts, we must raise new perceptions... There are some monopolies in Iran. The monopolistic activity of the corporations owned by the state must be stopped, and the private sector must have the opportunity to prove itself." [35]

The "Reform-Seekers" Movement

Reformist movement theoretician Saeed Hajjarian, who is close to former Iranian president Mohammad Khatami and who in 2000 survived an assassination attempt, suggested that the "reform-seekers" camp adopt a new motto - "Democracy from Within, Peace from Without" - in order to prevent division in its ranks.

To mark Iran's Student Day, celebrated on December 7, [36] a letter in Hajjarian's name was read at a Tehran University ceremony: "Unity, struggle, and victory have always been the motto of the students' movement in Iran, and it must continue to be thus... The wound from the December 7 [1953] incident has not yet healed, and this day is engraved in Iran's history as a major historical happening - exactly like the victory of the Islamic Revolution on December 11 [1979]. [37]

[1] See MEMRI Inquiry and Analysis No. 253, "The 'Second Islamic Revolution' in Iran: Power Struggle at the Top," November 17, 2005, http://memri.org/bin/articles.cgi?Page=countries&Area=iran&ID=IA25305.

[2] The Council of Experts is the supreme supervisory body whose powers include appointing the Supreme Leader, overseeing his function, and even deposing him if he does not properly fulfill his duties.

[3] Sharq (Iran), November 27, 2005.

[4] IRNA (Iran), November 20, 2005.

[5] The Basij is a paramilitary volunteer youth militia that today in Iran numbers some 10,000,000 members. The Basij was established in 1979 by Ayatollah Ruholla Khomeini.

[6] Kayhan International (Iran), as cited in IRNA, December 3, 2005.

[7] The association is an official government body.

[8] Tehran Times (Iran), December 11, 2005.

[9] The Guardian Council is a senior supervisory body for the Majlis and has the authority to reject Majlis legislation if it determines that it goes against Shari'a law. Likewise, the council has the power to reject candidates for election to the Majlis, the presidency, and the Council of Experts.

[10] In the Battle of Badr, which took place in 624 CE, Muhammad's small army vanquished the army of Mecca, which was three times its size. The Battle of Uhud, which took place in 625 CE, is a significant point in the development of the concept of martyrdom. A verse relating to those who fell in the Battle of Uhud says: "Think not of those who are slain in the way of Allah as dead. Nay, they are living. With their Lord they have provision." [Koran 3:169].

[11] Moawiya bin Abu-Sofian, founder of the Sunni Umayyad dynasty which ruled from 661 to 680, fought the Fourth Caliph Ali and claimed succession to the caliphate. This was the beginning of the political schism in Islam between the Sunnis (the house of Umayyad) and the Shiites (the house of Ali). At the Battle of Karbala (681 CE), Hussein, son of Ali, and his family were slaughtered by Yazid, son of Moawiya. The Ashura ceremony, commemorating the Karbala massacre, became a main Shiite religious ceremony.

[12] ISNA, November 20, 2005.

[13] The Expediency Council is the supreme body that arbitrates in disagreements between the Majlis and the Guardian Council. Recently, the council was given supervisory capacity over all the regime authorities in Iran; in effect, it is now No. 2 in the regime, below Iranian Leader Ali Khamenei.

[14] IRNA, November 30, 2005.

[15] See MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 1013, "Iranian President at Tehran Conference: 'Very Soon, This Stain of Disgrace [i.e. Israel] Will Be Purged From the Center of the Islamic World - and This is Attainable,'" October 28, 2005,http://memri.org/bin/articles.cgi?Page=countries&Area=iran&ID=SP101305.

[16] This quote from ISNA (Iranian Students News Agency) appeared in the reformist daily Sharq on December 10, 2005. A similar, if not identical, report was published by the ultraconservative daily Kayhan on the same date: "Did the murder of the Jews in WWII constitute a proper reason for there to be support for the regime that is occupying Jerusalem? For hundreds of films to be produced on this matter? And for there to be, every day, an affront to the feelings of the peoples in the matter of these Jews? And for there to be support for the foundation of a regime that occupies the Palestinian lands? In our opinion, if you [Europeans] took such a measure, come and give the Zionists part of your districts in Europe and Germany, or Austria, so that there they will establish their government. Why was this injustice against the Jews carried out in Europe but the Palestinian people must be the one to pay the price for it? Give the Zionists some of the lands of Europe and we will support this decision of yours, and will not voice any slogan against that regime..."

At a press conference, President Ahmadinejad presented "a report about the presence of the religious minorities" in the Iranian Majlis, saying: "The Iranian people is united, and is considered a single family. Everyone is a limb of a single body. The various minorities as well are part of this body, and the law is identical for all. The number of the Christians does not exceed 250,000, and they have two representatives in the Majlis. The Zoroastrians and the Jews - whose numbers in comparison with the Christians are much smaller - each have one representative in the Majlis..." Kayhan (Iran), December 12, 2005.

[17] IRNA, December 14, 2005, Kayhan, December 15, 2005. The transcript of the speech can be found at http://raha.gooya.name/politics/archives/040988.php.

[18] ISNA, January 1, 2006. http://www.isna.ir/Main/NewsView.aspx?ID=News-642660.

[19] Kayhan (Iran), December 17, 2005, Ahmadinejad made statements in this vein alson on December 12, 2005; see IRNA report of that date.

[20] IRNA, December 23, 2005. Other individuals who expressed support for Ahmadinejad's statements included Majlis Speaker Gholam-Ali Hadad-Adel, during his visit to Moscow on December 13, 2005. See IRNA report of December 13-14, 2005. Also, Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said "If Europe wishes to compensate for all the massacres that took place in the course of World War II, it should pay the price from its own pockets." Also, conservative Majlis member Mohsen Kohkan called on Germany to establish a committee to investigate the Holocaust, and also recommended what such a committee's findings should be: "They [The Germans] must establish a committee to clarify the issue, and announce that this claim [regarding the Holocaust] is a complete lie, and thus clear themselves of this charge, which the Zionists have been inflating for years." Fars News Agency, December 20, 2005. http://www.farsnews.com/newstext.php?nn=8409260451 .

[21] Kayhan (Iran), December 13, 2005.

[22] Tehran Times, Sharq (Iran), December 12, 2005.

[23] On the circumstances that led to Khatami's appointment as advisor, see MEMRI Inquiry and Analysis No. 243, "The 'Second Islamic Revolution' in Iran: Power Struggle at the Top," November 17, 2005, http://memri.org/bin/articles.cgi?Page=archives&Area=ia&ID=IA25305.

[24] Jomhour-ye Eslami, December 3, 2005.

[25] Kayhan International (Iran), as cited in IRNA, December 12, 2005.

[26] IRNA, December 18, 2005.

[27] IRNA, December 15, 2005; http://raha.gooya.name/politics/archives/040988.php.

[28] Jomhouri-e Eslami (Iran), December 8, 2005.

[29] Launched by United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

[30] IRNA, November 28, 2005.

[31] ISNA, January 1, 2006.

[32] Jomhouri-e Eslami (Iran), December 8, 2005.

[33] The Hidden Imam is the Shiite Messiah. Meshkini is talking about a Shiite hadith.

[34] Aftab-e Yazd (Iran), November 29, 2005.

[35] Aftab-e Yazd (Iran), December 7, 2005.

[36] On December 7, 1953, three students were killed in an attack by the Shah's forces on Tehran University following a student protest over U.S. vice president Richard Nixon's visit to Iran. The incident became a symbol of the students' anti-Shah movement, and since 1979, December 7 has been marked in Iran as Students Day.

[37] IRNA, December 6, 2005.