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World War II: Genocide

Volume 472: debated on Wednesday 5 March 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps he (a) has taken and (b) plans to take at the United Nations on the statements made by the President of Iran on denial of the Holocaust; and if he will make a statement. (190870)

The Government have consistently condemned President Ahmadinejad’s statements questioning the Holocaust, and has made clear that these statements are wholly unacceptable, abhorrent, and have no place in civilised political debate. In December 2006, under the guise of an academic exercise, the Iranian Government hosted a conference to which they invited a number of well-known Holocaust deniers. The aim of the conference was to cast doubt on whether the Holocaust took place in an attempt to undermine Israel’s existence. Former Prime Minister, the right hon. Tony Blair, publicly condemned the conference in the strongest terms and I summoned the Iranian Ambassador to express the Government’s anger at the event. In January 2007 the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution condemning without reservation any denial of the Holocaust. The UK strongly supported this resolution. Iran was the only country that chose to disassociate itself from the consensus shared by all other UN members on this issue.