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Middle East

Iran's hard-line lawmakers grill FM on Holocaust

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (R) talks with his Austrian counterpart Sebastian Kurz (L) ahead of a joint press conference in Tehran, on April 27, 2014. AFP PHOTO/ATTA KENARE

TEHRAN: Hard-line lawmakers have grilled Iran's foreign minister on the official Tehran's step-back from past policies of denying the Holocaust.

Mohammad Javad Zarif was summoned to parliament and questioned in a session that was broadcast live on state radio Tuesday.

Zarif said that as long as he was foreign minister he would not allow Iran's reputation to be damaged with statements about the "Holocaust denial."

Former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in 2005 prompted an international outcry when he called the Holocaust a "myth."

His successor, Hassan Rouhani, a moderate, has offered outreach in place of saber-rattling and Holocaust denial.

The summoning and grilling of Zarif is apparently part of the hard-liners' increasing pressures on the Rouhani administration.

After the questioning, the hard-line legislators said they were "satisfied" with Zarif's "explanation."

 

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