By Marc Femsohn, published in I24 News, January 28, 2016
On the sidelines of the official visit of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to Paris Wednesday, Iran's Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, met with members of the Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defense of the French parliament.
Meyer Habib, a French parliamentarian who represents expats in Israel and is a close friend of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, took the opportunity to question the top Iran diplomat on topics such as the nuclear deal with world powers, the Iranian presence in Syria, human rights, the annual Holocaust cartoon contest held in his country, and the non-recognition of Israel by the Islamic Republic.
In an interview with i24news, he described his exchange with Zarif.
"I am a Jew, today we commemorate the International Holocaust Remembrance Day and your country organizes a contest of caricatures denying the existence of the Holocaust. Six million Jews were murdered 70 years ago in the Holocaust. Are you ready to publicly declare that the Holocaust did take place?" Meyer asked he told Zarif.
"I represent French people living in eight countries, including 150,000 living in Israel, which your country wants to wipe off the map. Are you ready to publicly acknowledge the existence of the State of Israel?" he further asked the Iranian guest.
Zarif noted that neither he nor his government were behind the cartoon contest planned for June, placing the blame on "unidentified bodies and associations".
However, Habib stressed that Zarif did not condemn the contest. He did not deny the existence of the Holocaust, as have other Iranian leaders, but accused Israel "of exploiting the Holocaust from its (Israel's) inception to justify the occupation of the Palestinian people"... Read more