MOSCOW. (RIA Novosti political commentator Andrei Kolesnikov)

On December 11 and 12, Iran, whose nuclear program is a thorn in the side of progressive humankind, played host to an “academic” conference organized by the Tehran-based Institute for Political and International Studies (IPIS), part of the country’s foreign ministry.
The two-day gathering of anti-Zionists, anti-Semites, and even people with Ku Klux Klan views like David Duke, had a politically correct title (if this is possible at all when referring to such sensitive issues): “Review of the Holocaust: Global Vision.” The questions submitted for discussion, and published on the IPIS site, included such topics as the following: “Freedom of speech and the stance of Holocaust denials in the West”; “Gas chambers: denial or confirmation”; and “Nazism and Zionism: cooperation or hostility.”
Demagogy about the Holocaust as a “political instrument” and its vague and clear aspects conceals yet another of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s cynical PR actions, based on the denial of the genocide of six million European Jews and even the very existence of gas chambers.
Six months ago, he staged a show of cartoons about the Holocaust, but at that time he did not care one bit about the “scholarly” aspects of the problem. On this occasion, the slogan of the 1979 revolution about “erasing Israel from the face of the Earth,” which he brought back to life, was surrounded by a quasi-academic aura. The organizers urged the renunciation of Western taboos and restrictions on discussing the issue in Europe, denied accusations of anti-Semitism as a strictly Western phenomenon, observed with cynical sadness that the conference coincided with International Human Rights Day, and listened with exaggerated attention to speeches by ultra-Orthodox rabbis with anti-Zionist views.
Is it surprising that the organizers would not disclose the names of its 67 participants from 30 countries without their personal permission? It is indecent to argue against the verdict of the Nuremberg Trials and commit what is punishable by law in Austria, Germany, and France.
Viktor Nadein-Rayevsky, a specialist on Turkish studies from the academic Institute of World Economy and International Relations, represented Russia at the conference. He does not deny the Holocaust, but he emphatically dislikes the policy of modern Israel, which, he argues, provokes anti-Semitic attitudes. Apparently, for him this was a good enough reason to go to a conference that cannot be called “academic” by any stretch of the imagination, take part in debates with experts who hold KKK views and other wackos condemned for denying the Holocaust, and agree that the human heaps in the photos displayed in the lobby are the victims of typhus rather than death camps. Let Allah be his judge…
Let’s assume that the world is sick and tired of living under the permanent threat of terrorist and nuclear attacks, and that NATO and Zionist policies are making peace even more fragile and provoking terrorism. We can further assume that this has stretched the ethical limits of what is permissible and of speculative doubts about the proven facts of history. But in that case, we would have to agree that any crimes could be justified – just like they are being justified by the current Iranian leader, a global player in the field of world history and applied nuclear physics.
The conference bears out once again that Ahmadinejad is an absolutely new type of a leader. A source of global danger, he is impudent and teetering on the brink. Nobody knows how to deal with him, including the U.S. Department of State and the Russian Foreign Ministry. On the one hand, he has taken the whole world hostage, and any careless move could provoke him into making dangerous decisions. On the other hand, one can understand those who are no longer prepared to put up with his consistently provocative policy. At any rate, he knows exactly what he is doing by holding a conference on the Holocaust against the backdrop of another series of heated debates involving the world’s governments on the Iranian nuclear program. His anti-Zionism is nuclear across the board.
The conference established a committee to explore facts about the Holocaust. What facts are these “academics” from 30 countries going to discover, publish, and turn into cartoons? What PR does Ahmadinejad, this new type of leader, want to create using the blood and smoke of the crematoriums? What words on the “results of the conference” will he utter to continue provoking the civilized world? –0-