B’nai B’rith supports a demonstration organized by the Youth Zionist Federation and co-sponsored by the Israelite Central Committee, the local B’nai B’rith chapter, and other local Jewish organizations, rallying against Holocaust denial statements recently made by Iranian Ambassadorto Uruguay Hojjatollaj Soltani. Soltani’s statement, made at a public meeting, included the claim “Maybe some thousand Jews died, were murdered. But that figure of two million, four million, six million, that is a lie…”
The rally’s slogan “Against the Extermination of Memory,” embodies the reaction against Iranian attempts to deny the existence of the horrors of the Holocaust. In addition to Soltani’s words, the demonstration is also a reaction to the Iranian Minister of External Relations for Europe and America Ali Ahani's announced trip to Uruguay, Brazil and Paraguay.
“The visit of Iran's Minister of Defense Ahmad Vahidi to Bolivia a few months ago—a man who is on an INTERPOL wanted list for his role in the planning of the AMIA bombing in Buenos Aires in 1994— and Ahani’s upcoming visit to the region shows that Iran continues with its plan to dangerously expand its influence in the region,” B’nai B’rith International President Allan J. Jacobs said.
Though the Uruguayan government condemned the statements, many in the community feel that Soltani should have also been declared persona non grata, to prevent the continuation of the anti-Semitic agenda Iran is trying to promote in the region.
“It is difficult to understand why even democratic and peace loving countries in Latin America are willing to welcome the leaders of a regime that not only denies the Holocaust and sponsors terrorism but also terrorizes its own population,” B’nai B’rith International Executive Vice President Daniel S. Mariaschin.
B’nai B’rith will continue to monitor Iran’s incursions into Latin America.