IRAN is a state located within the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region . MENA refers to those states immediately west of India, including the states on the Arabian Peninsula, and the northernmost states in Africa. These states are grouped together because of their predominantly Muslim populations. The intention of this grouping is not to reify Muslim “difference” or to “orientalize” the region. Though there are clearly ethnic differences among the peoples of such a far-flung set of countries—the disparate ethnicities here include, for instance, Berbers, Arabs, Persians, and Afghans—relations between Muslims and Jews in the region have been exacerbated by the Arab-Israeli conflict. The conflict is the overriding prism through which most political leaders and at least a large portion of the citizenry view the Holocaust, if they have knowledge of it.

IRAN has emerged as the state most vocal in its denial of the Holocaust. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has, during his tenure, made several provocative statements denying the Holocaust. In late 2005, for instance, Ahmadinejad provoked international outrage when he called the Holocaust a “myth.”  The next year, Iran further shocked international observers when the country hosted a pseudo-academic conference in Tehran entitled “Review of the Holocaust: Global Vision,” which attracted European Holocaust deniers and American white supremacists. It is thus evident that the possibility for official support for Holocaust education in Iran and in many of its political allies remains a challenge under the current regime.


GLOBAL PERSPECTIVES ON HOLOCAUST EDUCATION: Trends, Patterns, and Practices,  a publication of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and  the Salzburg Global Seminar, 2013
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UNESCO:  Why Teach About the Holocaust?, 2013

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