According to an oped in today's New York Times The New York Times by Abbas Milani, the director of Iranian studies at Stanford and a research fellow at the Hoover Institution,Iranian officials, despite defying UN resolutions, have been sending another kind of message, a more conciliatory one.
After a meeting with the supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the leader’s chief foreign policy adviser, Ali Akbar Velayati, declared last week that the mullahs might agree to certain steps to imporve relations with the west.
These steps include announcing that the Holocaust is a fact of history and chastising those who question its reality. Ali Larijani, Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator, also declared the Holocaust a “historical matter” to be discussed by scholars (and not, he implied, by ignorant politicians).
There seems to be general agreement that this is another chink in the armour of President Ahmadinejad.
From my perspective, it's fascinating and a bit chilling that the existence of the HOlocaust has become a factor in foreign policy and international relations.
Some may cheer this development and I guess it is a good thing. But the fact that acknowledging the existence of the HOlocaust should be a sign of moderation and outreach leaves me dumbfounded.