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PostFri Sep 27, 2013 4:15 am     What Hassan Rouhani Really Said About the Holocaust    


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What Hassan Rouhani Really Said About the Holocaust

By Michael Moynihan
The Daily Beast
September 26, 2013

Not so fast, CNN. Iran’s president did not denounce the Nazis. Michael Moynihan says a more accurate translation suggests he is just another Holocaust denier.

In a 1731 essay on Shakespeare’s “brilliant monstrosities,” Voltaire confessed to readers that he added his own stylistic flourishes to a self-translated passage from Hamlet: “Woe to the makers of literal translations, who by rendering every word weaken the meaning!”

It’s an admonition appreciated by the Islamic Republic of Iran’s official translator, whose services were employed by CNN for an interview with the country’s vaunted “moderate” leader, Hassan Rouhani. Christiane Amanpour, an Iranian-Brit who apparently speaks Farsi, asked the inevitable question, the one that would uncover further evidence of moderation and counterbalance the sinister views of former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who famously revealed himself to be an amateur scholar of the Second World War: Does the right honorable gentleman from Tehran believe the Holocaust actually happened? The translator, perhaps fearing that rendering every word would weaken the meaning, offered the following English rendering of Rouhani’s response:

“I’ve said before that I am not a historian and that when it comes to speaking of the dimensions of the Holocaust, it is the historians that should reflect on it. But in general I can tell you that any crime that happens in history against humanity, including the crime that Nazis committed towards the Jews as well as non-Jews is reprehensible and condemnable. Whatever criminality they committed against the Jews, we condemn...” . . . [More]


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