|Iran's Khamenei questions West’s double standards
Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei voiced doubts about the existence and scale of the Holocaust, questioning the West's “red lines'' on freedom of expression.
In Europe, “no one dares to speak of the Holocaust, the crux of which is not clear if it is true, or if it were, how it was,'' Khamenei said in remarks broadcast live from the northeastern city of Mashhad.
Khamenei appeared to draw parallels between “red lines'' in the West over discussion of the Holocaust and Iran's own policies regarding freedom of expression.
In his speech marking the Persian New Year, Khamenei called for “resistance'' in the face of a “cultural invasion'' targeting the Islamic state's religious beliefs.
“Expressing opinion about the Holocaust, or casting doubt on it, is one of the greatest sins in the West. They prevent this, arrest the doubters, try them while claiming to be a free country,'' he said.
“They passionately defend their red lines ... how do they expect us to overlook our red lines that are based on our revolutionary and religious beliefs,'' he asked without elaborating.
Iran's human rights record and its limits on free expression are routinely criticised by international organisations and Western powers.
Last week, UN chief Ban Ki-moon strongly criticised Iran for an increase in executions, the detention of dissidents and discrimination against women.—AFP