(CNSNews.com) – As the world on Wednesday marked the Nazis’ systematic killing of six million Jews during World War II , the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's official website posted a video quoting the supreme leader’s questioning of the Holocaust.
“No-one in European countries dares to speak about holocaust [sic] while it is not clear whether the core of this matter is a reality or not,” read the English subtitles accompanying audio from an excerpt of a speech by Khamenei, over images of the entrance to Auschwitz and piles of Jewish corpses.
“Even if it is a reality, it is not clear how it happened,” he adds.
In the video, released on the khamenei.ir site, Khamenei continues to say: “Speaking about holocaust and expressing doubts about it is considered to be a great sin.”
“If someone does this, they stop, arrest, imprison and and sue him. This is while they claim to be the supporters of freedom.”
Images are shown of infamous Holocaust deniers and revisionists David Irving, Robert Faurisson, Ursula Haverbeck, the late Roger Garaudy, and Wolfgang Frohlich, an Austrian city councilor who in a letter to Pope Benedict XVI called the Holocaust a “satanic lie.”
Over a photo showing President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu walking together Khamenei continues, “This is the ignorance that exists in today’s world.”
“We should be awake,” he tells his listeners. “We can stand against the ignorance.”
The speech was delivered in March 2014, on the occasion of Nowruz, the Persian new year.
Elsewhere, the video features images of grieving Arabs, some carrying dead bodies, presumably killed during conflicts between Israel and the Palestinians.
“Are the dark ages over?” is the headline that appears with the video on the Iranian website. To make clear its message, the words “Holocaust” and “Palestine” appear.
The clip attacks both Israel and America. Khamenei is quoted as saying, “Who assists the fake Zionist regime? Who supports them? Who clears the road for them? Who stands behind them? It is western powers headed by America that are doing so. This is while they say in their slogans they are opposed to terrorism and ISIS. They are lying. They say things which are not true. This is ignorance.”
Iranian leaders have a history of Holocaust denial and support for deniers.
In 2006 Faurisson, a British-born revisionist historian who was removed from a university chair in France for Holocaust denial, delivered a speech at an Iranian government-sponsored “international conference to review the global vision of the Holocaust.”
Six years later then-President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad – who himself called the Holocaust a “myth” – presented Faurisson with an award for “courage” at an event in Tehran.
Garaudy, a French communist-turned-Muslim philosopher who was convicted in 1998 on charges of denying the Holocaust, also had a warm relationship with Iran.
During his trial Iranian students demonstrated outside the French Embassy in Tehran and hundreds of Iranian lawmakers signed a petition in support of him.
Garaudy was also invited to visit Iran and when he did so Khamenei himself met with him.
Ill health prevented Garaudy from participating in a Dec. 2006 conference in Tehran questioning the Holocaust, but he reportedly sent a video message supporting Ahmadinejad’s call for Israel’s eradication.
The khamenei.ir website features a quote by Khamenei from his April 1998 meeting with Garaudy.
“The Zionists and the Nazis have a lot in common. Today there is a major contradiction in the way the U.S. and Europe behave. They decry Nazi’s racism against the Jews, but support the Zionists who are similar to the Nazis in many ways,” Khamenei told the Frenchman.
‘The despicability of supporting the Zionists is no less than that of supporting Nazi Germany and Hitler, however, the materialistic civilization of America and Europe has no explanation for this major contradiction,” he said.
Iran this year plans to host a third international Holocaust cartoon contest.