Jewish MP Makes Peace With President After Holocaust Comments

June 27, 2006

Source: The Guardian,,1807160,00.html

On June 27, 2006 The Guardian reported, "Maurice Motamed has one of the loneliest jobs in the Middle East. When Mahmoud Ahmadinejad made his controversial Holocaust statements, the sole Jewish MP in Iran's 290-member Majlis (parliament) felt he had no option but to confront him. 'When our president spoke about the Holocaust, I considered it my duty as a Jew to speak about this issue,' Mr Motamed said in his office in central Tehran. 'The biggest disaster in human history is based on tens of thousands of films and documents. I said these remarks are a big insult to the whole Jewish society in Iran and the whole world.' Mr Ahmadinejad, president of an overwhelmingly Muslim nation, has not apologised. But Mr Motamed said the president had since qualified his statement by insisting that he had not denied the Holocaust and he was not an anti-semite. Mr Motamed represents Iran's 25,000-strong Jewish community, the largest such group in the Middle East outside Israel... Nasser Hadian-Jazy, associate professor of political science at Tehran University and a childhood friend of the president, said Mr Ahmadinejad was keen to put the Holocaust row behind him... 'He will do something to show he is not anti-Jewish. I hope he will do it soon. He will make a gesture to the Jews in Iran and that has implications for Jews elsewhere. What he will say is very important and will remove the idea that he is anti-semite.'"