Deputy foreign minister for education and research, Manouchehr Mohammadi, said here Tuesday that no one will be allowed to misuse the upcoming conference on holocaust either politically or for propaganda purpose.Are you picking up the implication that the conference is going to render some sort of verdict on whether the Holocaust really happened? This should prove interesting.
Mohammadi made the remark at a press conference in which he briefed domestic and foreign reporters on the upcoming two-day conference and responded to questions raised on the issue.
The international conference on holocaust dubbed `Holocaust: World Prospect' will be held by the Foreign Ministry's Institute for Political and International Studies (IPIS) from December 11-12.
Today's press briefing session was warmly welcomed by foreign media, in particularly those from Germany.
Concerning participation of proponents of holocaust, he said that individuals approving it have also been invited to the upcoming event and will be given a chance to deliver their lectures.
"Meanwhile, another conference dubbed `Research on Deniers of Holocaust' will be held in Germany simultaneously to overshadow Tehran conference," he added.
In response to a question whether any article has been submitted from Israel by those who were victims of holocaust, he said that no one from Israel will attend the conference, but that the articles of those claiming to have been victims of holocaust have been accepted, on condition that they are academic.
Replying to a question about anti-semitism, the Foreign Ministry official said that this is a Western phenomenon and expressed Iran's rejection of it.
"Human beings, irrespective of their race and color, are not different from each other. Even those not believing in any religion should be respected.
"We attempt to prepare the grounds for assessment of what has been banned and tabooed. We do not merely aim to intensify racism which is rejected," he added.
Mohammadi said that given the favorable approach of Iranians to Jews since early days, Iran can be the best arbitrator of the issue.
Asked whether the event has to do with insulting caricatures published as a blasphemy against Islamic sanctities, he said that Iran is against any sacrilege on the sanctities of religious assemblies, irrespective of their being to Muslims, Christians or Jews among others.Got that?
"When it comes to historical issues, we believe that it is possible to conduct research on them and that there is no redline in this respect.
"Research can be conducted on all Islamic matters and they can even be denied, but mocking sanctities is unacceptable," concluded Mohammadi.