Baku, Azerbaijan, March 15
By Umid Niayesh - Trend:
Iranian parliament's Presiding Board has receipted a petition signed by five lawmakers for questioning the foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, Member of the board, Alireza Monadi Sefidan said, the country's ISNA news agency reported on March 15.
The top diplomat will be questioned for "his incorrect statements about Iran's defence power as well as confirming the Holocaust," Monadi Sefidan said.
Zarif, who is also Iran's chief nuclear negotiator, came under fire by conservatives after he said the Holocaust was a "horrifying tragedy" that "should never occur again" in an interview in early February.
The comments made by Zarif in his interview with a German television station are in stark contrast to the Holocaust denials by former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who famously called it a "legend which relies on an unreliable claim."
Early in September 2013, Iranian media outlets quoted Zarif as saying "Iran condemns both genocide against Jews and Israel's violations against Palestinians."
Previously Zarif congratulated the Jews via his Twitter, writing in English "Happy Rosh Hashanah", adding that a Jewish minority live in Iran as well.
A user, who turned out to be Christine Pelosi, the daughter of former speaker of the United States House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, replied to Zarif's message by saying "Thanks. The new year would be even sweeter if you would end Iran's Holocaust denial, sir."
Zarif tweeted back by saying "Iran never denied it (the Holocaust). The man who was perceived to be denying it is now gone. Happy New Year."