Newly-elected Iranian President Hassan Rouhani told CNN on Tuesday that he does not deny the Holocaust happened and condemned it as a crime against humanity.
"I have 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," Rouhani told CNN in an interview. "But in general I can tell you that any crime that happens in history against humanity, including the crime the Nazis committed towards the Jews, as well as non-Jewish people, was reprehensible and condemnable as far as we are concerned."
The statement stands in stark contrast to the rhetoric from former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who repeatedly said the Holocaust was a lie.
Watch the clip, courtesy of CNN:
Rouhani, who has been hailed as a moderate, added that the American people are "very dear and near to the hearts of the Iranian people"
"I would like to say to American people: I bring peace and friendship from Iranians to Americans," he added.
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