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Iran president acknowledges Holocaust, talks Syria and Twitter

September 25th, 2013
03:02 PM ET

Part 1: Amanpour and Iran's Pres Rouhani

Part 2: Amanpour and Iran's Pres Rouhani



If you are viewing this on a mobile phone and cannot play the video, you can watch part 1 here and part 2 here.

By Josh Levs and Mick Krever, CNN

Iran's new president has acknowledged that Nazis killed Jews, furthering the stark contrast between himself and his predecessor, who called the Holocaust a "myth."

In a wide-ranging interview with CNN, he also discussed Israel and Syria.

"Any crime that happens in history against humanity, including the crime the Nazis committed towards the Jews as well as non-Jews, was reprehensible and condemnable," President Hassan Rouhani said in an interview with CNN's Christiane Amanpour.

"Whatever criminality they committed against the Jews, we condemn, because genocide, the taking of the human life, is condemnable and it makes no difference whether that life is a Jewish life, a Christian or a Muslim or what. For us it's the same."

He also referred to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

"But this does not mean that on the other hand you can say Nazis committed crimes against a group, now therefore they must usurp the land of another group and occupy it. This, too, is an act that should be condemned. There should be an even-handed discussion," Rouhani said, speaking through a translator.

Rouhani emphasized that he is "not a historian."

The Anti-Defamation League responded quickly.

"It is about time an Iranian leader acknowledged the Holocaust as a tragic fact of history," ADL National Director Abraham Foxman said in a written statement.

"But in practically the same breath President Rouhani engaged in the more subtle form of Holocaust revisionism, minimizing it by accusing the Jewish survivors of taking vengeance on the Palestinians in fulfilling their 2,000-year-old dream of returning to their homeland, Israel. This was a gratuitous swipe at the survivors.

"There is no moral equivalency between the slaughter of 6 million Jews and millions of other innocent men, women and children in the Nazi gas chambers and the plight of the Palestinian people living in the West Bank and Gaza. The Iranians, apparently, are willing to come only so far."

Days earlier, in an interview with NBC, Rouhani declined to say whether the Holocaust happened.

The country's previous president, the firebrand Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, infamously called the Holocaust a myth.

"If the Holocaust is a reality of our time, a history that occurred, why is there not sufficient research that can approach the topic from different perspectives?" he once asked.

CNN asked Rouhani about another of Ahmadinejad's remarks - that Israel should be wiped off the map.

"We have no intention of attacking any country or getting into a war with any country," he said. "Even if our armed forces are built up, it is for defense purposes alone."

The "issue of Palestine" should be resolved through the ballot box, he said.

In New York for the U.N. General Assembly, he brought along the only Jewish member of the Iranian parliament.

"Our effort here is to tell the world public opinion that Iran is not only not anti-Semitic, but rather that it respects the customs and beliefs of the Jewish people," Rouhani said.

"We are proud of our history of peaceful coexistence with followers of all belief systems," he said.

Human rights organizations have chronicled Iran's treatment of some religious minorities, particularly members of the Baha'i faith.

Despite the recent release of more than a dozen political and religious prisoners in Iran, "religious minorities and other prisoners of conscience in Iran continue to suffer for their beliefs, including more than 100 imprisoned members of the Baha'i community and its leadership," said Robert P. George, chairman of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, in a statement Monday.

Also, "a renewed crackdown on Protestant Christians in recent weeks has led to numerous arrests," the commission said. "Of those Christians already imprisoned, Iranian-American pastor Saeed Abedini continues to languish in Evin prison while his eight-year sentence was upheld just last month."

Rouhani told CNN he is pursuing a citizenship charter that will work to improve freedoms. "So I will spare no effort to ensure that those who are currently in prison will see an opening door," he said.

Iranian president on Syrian conflict

Rouhani also addressed Iran's role in the Syrian civil war.

Some Iran troops are fighting on the side of President Bashar al-Assad's regime, Amanpour noted.

Rouhani insisted the Iran's involvement does not even number hundreds of people.

"We have close relations with Syria from a long time ago," he said, adding that Iran has military attaches and experts stationed there.

Asked about Iranian weaponry being used by the Syrian regime, Rouhani cautioned against baseless "propaganda."

"Are you encouraging the regime to give up its chemical weapons as the deal between the U.S. and Russia says?" Amanpour asked.

"We believe in general that the entire region of the Middle East has - as far as that region is concerned - all weapons of mass destruction, including chemical weapons, have to be eradicated from the region," Rouhani responded.

Iran is glad Syria has committed itself to the Chemical Weapons Convention, he said.

Rouhani on why no meeting with Obama

"I would like to say to American people: I bring peace and friendship from Iranians to Americans," Rouhani said in English, marking the first time he's spoken the language in a TV interview since becoming president. For the rest of the interview Rouhani spoke Farsi.

In many ways, Rouhani is the "it" man of the U.N. General Assembly, as Western leaders look to gauge whether his diplomatic overtures will translate into concrete policy changes.

There was widespread speculation that he and U.S. President Barack Obama might meet face-to-face.

"There were some talks about" a possible meeting, Rouhani told Amanpour through a translator. "And preparation for the work was done a bit as well."

But no such meeting happened.

Two senior U.S. administration officials told CNN Tuesday that the encounter was called off because it was considered "too complicated" for Iran back home.

"I believe we didn't have sufficient time to really coordinate the meeting to the full extent that we needed to," Rouhani told CNN.

Given that U.S. and Iranian leaders have not met face-to-face for 35 years, he said, "we must give time for diplomacy to work itself, for dialogue to come about, for circumstances to be laid properly."

Still, the two men recently exchanged letters, and Rouhani said the ice is "already beginning to break because the environment is changing and that has come about as a result of the will of the people of Iran to create a new era of relations between the people of Iran and the rest of the world."

Resolving the standoff over Iran's nuclear program is the priority, he said. "If the nuclear issue is settled conclusively, I believe that that will pave the way for numerous other issues that can be discussed."

Iran insists its program is for energy purposes; the United States and several other countries believe it could be a guise for building nuclear weaponry.

Rouhani also called for sanctions against his country to be lifted.

Rouhani said he has full permission from Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, to negotiate with the West.

"I think that the president of Iran has the authority whenever the national interest of the country is involved," Rouhani told Amanpour. "The supreme leader of Iran has said that should negotiations be necessary for the national interest of the country, he is in fact not opposed to it."

"Now, if an opportunity was created today, had arisen today," the Iranian president said, "and the prep work for that had been done, most probably the talks would have haven taken place, primarily focused on the nuclear issue or the developments on the Middle East. Therefore the supreme leader, I can tell you, has given permission for my government to freely negotiate on these issues."

Rouhani: Social media may be coming to Iran

An irony surrounding Rouhani's leadership is that his office tweets and posts on Facebook - even though those social media platforms are banned in Iran.

"All my efforts are geared to ensure that the people of Iran will comfortably be able to access all information globally and to use it," he told CNN. "There are large social networks at a global level around today. And I believe that all human beings have a right, and all nations have a right to use them."

He also noted that some countries including Iran have "ethical frameworks" that they try to follow.

The Iranian government needs "to be open to criticism" expressed through social media, he said. "So one of my plans is to reduce the problems that people face currently on these issues, so that within those sort of moral frameworks that we have for ourselves, that we are able to access these social network sites."

CNN's Joe Sterling contributed to this report.


Filed under:  Christiane Amanpour • Iran • Latest Episode • The Best Interviews
soundoff (113 Responses)
  1. Falcon

    OK. Suppose Iran will stop or slowdown its nuclear program. What is next? The Human Right issue? Freedom of press....The Mullahs will never agree on those issues since like the Shah, this could mean their end. Therefore, it is simply a waste of time to listen to them as the last 30years is our guide!.They will never agree on any issues. They want simply to buy time to build the bomb. That would be their insurance and the trump card so that no one will ever dare to touch them. This Rohani guy is just a puppet who is going to waste your time for the next 8 years like Ahmadinejad did! Meanwhile the suprem leader is laughing out loud for another 8 years! You need to cut off the head of the chicken!

    September 25, 2013 at 3:49 pm | Reply
    • Falcon

      By the way, you very well know that you can finish off the Mullahs with several tomohawk missiles as the you did with sadam and his '5th largest army' in the world. The Iranian have a weak armforces due to 30 years of sanctions. They have no airforce. No navy. So what are you waiting for?

      September 25, 2013 at 3:56 pm | Reply
      • Sani

        I can imagine you,ride on a B-52 and release a nuclear missile over Iran!
        if the Mullahs's violence be 1,yours are 10
        read again what you say
        I smell blood from your note!

        September 25, 2013 at 5:01 pm |
      • farzad from iran

        hey Falcon,iran has lived from 9000 years ago till now,and no countrey can't destroy t because we iranian are patriots and don't let others harm our legacy.

        September 25, 2013 at 5:41 pm |
      • paulovg12

        Which cave have you been living in ? America has problems huge ones related to how you are going to keep your standard of living past this generation. Picking a fight with Iran is just going to make it worse the same way that occupying Iraq did nothing for most US Citizens except to raise their taxes to pay for the war effort. At the same time how will a nuclear bomb benefit Iran. Supposing they bomb Israel – then what? Do you think the Palestinians can move in, what about retaliation.

        September 25, 2013 at 10:55 pm |
      • Benjamin Irani

        What a piece of synchronicity. The astonishing release of myriad political prisoners in Iran, the sensible drop in exchanging Iranian currency to US Dollar, the merciful permit for Iranian permanent residents outside of Iran to return home for three months annually, the incredible peaceful speeches, the willingness to sit down and negotiate with states, and on top of them all the greetings to American fellas from an Iranian president...

        I am not claiming that Rouhani is the guardian angel sent to save Iran from its suffered miseries unlike the shenanigans such as mysterious white horse in bible appearing as Obama but from an Iranian born yet raised in the west citizen, I can easily detect promising actions through this newly born government rather than unfulfilled promises!

        To dim-witted potheads, e.g. Falcon, yet speaking of issues which their generations won't be able to digest: Please leave politics alone, you need to learn that the reason you get headaches is not Iran or developing countries as such, is probably your lack of education or knowledge per se. Your heart and mind are filled with ignorance and hate because probably you haven't achieved anything in your life and you are simply fat and ugly sitting behind a computer desk or TV all day and judging things which your brain-nut can't handle. Given people disdain towards your existence, you may get attention this way but I am sure you have no idea what happiness really means!

        September 26, 2013 at 3:36 am |
      • Kiumars

        I am Iranian and I can also read lips and can tell you that in the CNN interview clip the English translation about Holocaust is totally incorrect and translation has added to what he said extensively (at least twice the size of what President Rouhani actually said in his 1:55 minute answer). CNN is trying to say that Iranians confirm the Holocaust; the event that no historian has ever been able to confirm with evidence; there is no evidence, if there was evidence the case would have been closed!

        September 26, 2013 at 5:50 pm |
      • nader

        very well said about human rights.HOW CAN PEOPLE CHOOSE A PRESIDENT WHEN THEY DON'T HAVE RIGHT HOW TO DRESS UP?I ASUME THIS IS JUST ABOUT A DEAL BETWEEN THE BOTH GOVERNMENT.HELL WITH THE PEOPLE. THAT IS WHAT IT IS.

        September 29, 2013 at 8:14 pm |
    • Mary

      I'm so sorry for people like FALCON! I lived in America for around 12 years. that is not what real American think and want.
      From low job to mid grade ones. I dealt with Americans. Falcon either is an Iranian opposition or a ??? you know what I mean!

      September 25, 2013 at 4:54 pm | Reply
      • Falcon

        Well sweety, the middle east, north africa is already in ruins. One more country like Iran would not make a bid difference! One more headeach to go away!

        September 25, 2013 at 5:27 pm |
      • Name's Ali, Mohammed Ali

        To you know who, we say every dog has his day. World is round. Things change. Empires have come and gone.

        September 25, 2013 at 6:48 pm |
    • rayan

      do us a favor do not give opinion in this matter if you don´t have information, maybe we hate this regim of IRAN but we love people of Iran enemi of IRAN will be shotdwon if they try to harm inocent people of IRAN , this people give their everything for freedom and democracy this people save the jwes from slavery and give the world civilazation education and fosofi in difrent area, , how do you to dare talk like facist about iranian nation , like that go and study more about us befpre open ur mouth you pick

      September 25, 2013 at 7:15 pm | Reply
      • Falcon

        The ONLY democracy in the region is the state of Israel! Freedom of speech! Now in Tehran you go ahead and say something against the ayatolah, you will be shot on the spot, or publicly hanged or stoned to death! NOW THAT IS THE REAL DEMOCRACY!

        September 26, 2013 at 9:23 am |
    • DickPerry

      The next issue is the illegal prison GITMO and why not the U.S torture or perhaps illegal terror drone strikes against civilians.

      September 25, 2013 at 8:09 pm | Reply
    • NS

      monger

      September 25, 2013 at 11:46 pm | Reply
    • Non-white American

      Do you know the Iranian system? If you don't as I see thru your post, ignorance can be hidden by keeping your mouth SHUT!

      September 26, 2013 at 9:47 am | Reply
    • Oswys

      Falcon,

      go and educate yourself before saying anything else. Apparently you only know what your devious mind tells you and probably have not had the chance to visit any country other than your own. Educate your self, learn about other cultures, learn about respect and tolerance and then come back to the forum.

      September 26, 2013 at 1:28 pm | Reply
    • jgarbuz

      It will be enough for Iran to live up to its obligations under the NPT that it signed. Not our business what form of government they have That is their business. Iran signed the NPT and therefor gave its legal right to develop nuclear weapons. Nothing complicated about it.

      September 26, 2013 at 6:08 pm | Reply
  2. Kyle

    Another day another discussion on the holohoax.

    September 25, 2013 at 3:54 pm | Reply
    • spring-cleaner

      blow me

      September 25, 2013 at 4:40 pm | Reply
    • jgarbuz

      The only major hoax of the 20th century is that of "historic Palestine" and "the Palestinian people." No such nation or people ever existed in human history. Tomorrow a group of Arabs will claim to be Martians, and many people will believe them.

      September 26, 2013 at 7:18 pm | Reply
  3. joey

    smell a rat ?

    September 25, 2013 at 4:11 pm | Reply
    • Just gas

      Sorry

      September 25, 2013 at 4:33 pm | Reply
  4. weedouthate

    If humanity is going to survive, we must all be inspired to root out our inner weeds for sowing the seeds of peace.

    September 25, 2013 at 4:20 pm | Reply
  5. Oh Really

    I'll believe in the Holohoax once studies can be done on it without being thrown in prison for daring to question it in Europe.

    September 25, 2013 at 4:37 pm | Reply
    • spring-cleaner

      what cave have you been living in?

      September 25, 2013 at 4:41 pm | Reply
      • Oh Really

        Considering the only studies generally approved are by those aiming to prove it and not disprove it?

        September 25, 2013 at 4:46 pm |
    • Robert Cswell

      How do you disprove an historical fact?? Holocaust deniers are the ultimate delusional fools.

      September 25, 2013 at 5:05 pm | Reply
      • show me

        Show me the bodies. Oh wait it's illegal to dig for them.

        September 25, 2013 at 7:35 pm |
      • jgarbuz

        I'd love to see the bodies of my grandmother, my four year old half brother, my dead uncles too. Alas, they have been taken up in a UFO, because they totally disappeared in 1942 without a trace. In fact, none of my friends who were born in the DP camps of Germany after WWII ever saw a living grandparent. How did all these grandparents somehow disappear? And to where?

        September 26, 2013 at 7:22 pm |
    • Shorn

      I just scraped a holocaust denier off my shoe. Gross.

      September 25, 2013 at 7:45 pm | Reply
    • jgarbuz

      Maybe you want to deny that western Europe was conquered by Hitler as well? if the Europeans want to make it illegal to deny Hitler's crimes, that is their right. They were occupied by the Nazis, and they know what happened to their countries, and what happened to their Jews.
      What if I denied African slavery? How do you prove that slavery once existed in the US?

      September 26, 2013 at 6:12 pm | Reply
  6. DFGSDFGSDFG345234525463456

    NOTICIAS EN VIVO.

    LA ONU NACIONES UNIDAS LA HAYA Y TRIBUNALES NORTE AMERICANOS EN TIEMPO REAL TRIBUNALES OCULTOS.

    YA QUE TRIBUNALES INTERNACIONALES OBSERVADO EL GENOCIDIO VENEZOLANO EN CASOS DE ESTUDIOS DE LA RAZA HUMANA NO INVESTIGADO LOS CRIMENES QUE HEMOS DENUNCIADO.

    YYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY

    September 25, 2013 at 4:39 pm | Reply
    • Kenny_Bania

      Uhhh press 2 for Spanish.

      September 25, 2013 at 5:14 pm | Reply
  7. Oh Really

    The truth does not fear questioning.

    September 25, 2013 at 4:47 pm | Reply
  8. john creek

    Comparing the Holocaust to the issue of Palestinian oppression by Israel is indeed offensive. He shouldn't have mentioned them in the same sentence. However: The Anti Defamation League's mention of Israel "fulfilling their 2,000-year-old dream of returning to their homeland" is ridiculous. So people should have the right to return to land that their people lived in 2,000 years ago and displace whomever happens to be living there? Does this right extend to other people or just Jewish Zionist? Since when is "my people lived here 2,000 years ago" a valid argument for taking someone's property? Think about what that would mean for other parts of the world...

    September 25, 2013 at 5:07 pm | Reply
    • Shorn

      It's not just ridiculous, it's insulting. As insulting as "Manifest Destiny" is to native people in the U.S.

      September 25, 2013 at 7:42 pm | Reply
      • jgarbuz

        The Jews consider themselves the displaced native peoples.Hebrew is the last remaining Canaanite language. Arabic and Islam were imported into the Land of Israel. It was the Romans who gave that land the name "Palestina" after crushing three Jewish revolts.

        September 26, 2013 at 6:14 pm |
    • nima

      thank you, very well said

      September 25, 2013 at 7:51 pm | Reply
    • Ron

      If you read what he said, you'll see he didn't compare the two events. He said one did not justify the other. Which is true.

      September 25, 2013 at 9:37 pm | Reply
    • Thinker23

      "Since when is "my people lived here 2,000 years ago" a valid argument for taking someone's property?"

      It is not. Therefore, any person (Palestinian or otherwise) has every right to bring his case to Israeli court, SHOW THE LEGAL DEEDS necessary to PROVE his ownership rights on the property and demand compensation.

      September 26, 2013 at 9:19 am | Reply
      • BUD

        SO I LIVED THERE 50 YEARS AGO IS A VALID ARGUMENT ITS THE SAME DOH!

        September 26, 2013 at 4:14 pm |
    • jgarbuz

      Ridiculous or not, after WWI the League of Nations made it international law, that Jews have the right to return and resettle their ancient homeland. It's no more ridiculous than letting Irish Americans go back to Ireland if they so choose.

      September 26, 2013 at 6:16 pm | Reply
    • jgarbuz

      Also, nobody's property was taken, so that argument doesn't wash. It is Arab propaganda. Tel Aviv, for example, was built on sand dunes. 80% of Jewish Israelis live on land that was either purchased or on land that was empty wasteland before 1948. It was only when the Arabs made war in 1948 to throw the Jews back into the sea, that they lost and abandoned lands, that BTW were kept empty for decades but the Arabs continued to refuse to recognize the Jewish state. And so those abandoned lands were finally built upon. But nearly 1 million Jews were thrown out of the Arab countries and lost 4 times as much land and other properties than did the Palestinian Arabs. Nobody cares about that, because they are used to Jews being expelled, so it doesn't count in their eyes.

      September 26, 2013 at 6:20 pm | Reply
  9. the truth is

    This clearly means fox mulder is now working for Iran

    September 25, 2013 at 5:28 pm | Reply
  10. Terry

    Christiane,
    As always, Great Work! My family greatly appreciates your work, integrity and contribution to the world.
    Thank you!

    September 25, 2013 at 5:41 pm | Reply
  11. ALi

    Concerning about weapons Iran sent to Syria is correct,but I can't hear a right and obvious answer!!

    September 25, 2013 at 5:46 pm | Reply
    • hypocrites

      Weapons Iran sent to syria... It's their ally thus it's their right.
      Just like the US is sending weapons to the terrorists that flat out said they won't support the interim government and want sharia law.

      September 25, 2013 at 7:36 pm | Reply
      • Thinker23

        It is not a question of "right" it's a question what we're going to do about it.

        September 26, 2013 at 9:21 am |
  12. Books Will Save The Planet

    How could President Obama shake the man's hand. He needs both of his hands to screw America.

    September 25, 2013 at 5:57 pm | Reply
  13. Emilio

    We can talk all day about whether the Jews had a right to reclaim Israel, but the reality is that they are there now and they're not going anywhere. So we need to address the real issue of how everyone is going to work to get along and live side by side...and this goes for Jews and Muslims alike.

    I've known for the longest time (since 1979) that Iranians are good people. They really like America. The problem is, they don't run the country's politics or religious dogma. I think that this sudden turn around by the Iranian leadership is more of a chess move to prevent a violent uprising, so typical in the Middle-East of late. The new face isn't to placate the West, as much as it is to keep their own people in check. Iranian leadership has to know that any uprising will lead to CIA funding of weapons to the "patriots."

    There is absolutely no reason we can't get along with Iran, the same as we get along with Egypt.

    September 25, 2013 at 6:24 pm | Reply
    • Thinker23

      "There is absolutely no reason we can't get along with Iran..."

      Hm-m-m-m... Did not you just say that "they" (the good people of Iran) don't run the country's politics or religious dogma? It's sad but we have a problem with the BAD ones running the country's politics or religious dogma.

      September 26, 2013 at 9:25 am | Reply
    • jgarbuz

      Now, if only we could get along with Cuba, Venezuela and Mexico.

      September 26, 2013 at 7:02 pm | Reply
  14. Seyedibar

    Genius. He's using the same propaganda tactics as the pope. Say something that any sensible person would agree with, and those people are less likely to notice how dangerous your less-spoken-of philosophy is.

    September 25, 2013 at 6:26 pm | Reply
    • Name's Ali, Mohammed Ali

      so u mean to say pope is dangerous.

      September 25, 2013 at 6:55 pm | Reply
    • hypocrites

      I'd go as far as saying it's the same tactics Obama has used to get elected twice.

      September 25, 2013 at 7:37 pm | Reply
  15. AMANPOUR IS GREAT

    Christiane Amanpour is a GREAT journalist. Interviewing a supporter of the Islamic Revolution of 1979 in which his uncle who was Chief of the Air Force was executed. He worked for the Shah.

    September 25, 2013 at 6:26 pm | Reply
  16. Craig

    Sadly far too typical of Israel. "We're glad he acknowledges the Holocaust. That's cool. But...he shouldn't criticize us for stealing land and building illegal settlements...because we're Israel, and we get to do whatever we want."

    THAT is why we have no peace in the Middle East!

    September 25, 2013 at 6:27 pm | Reply
    • Name's Ali, Mohammed Ali

      hmmm.......we had no idea they set Holocaust as the benchmark from where everything begins from. If you pledge allegiance and whine and cry about it than you maybe allowed in the "civilized country club"

      September 25, 2013 at 6:57 pm | Reply
    • Shorn

      Amen. So tired of hearing the weak excuses for their land grab. Just acknowledge the bare fact that you took land that did not belong to you. The U.S. has!

      September 25, 2013 at 7:33 pm | Reply
    • MrChameleon

      I agree. The problem is here in America if anyone dares to utter a single word of criticism about anything to do with Israel or Jews in general you are chastised and labelled anti semitic. The Largest lobbying group in all of Washington D.C. is the AIPAC and they want complete regime change in most Countries in the middle east. That basically enables them to take even more land for themselves over there and not be challenged by anyone to take it back.
      If you don't think Isreal is wanting more land at this point you live with your head under water people. Wake up and hold them accountable for being at least half the problem. If Israel wants peace they can start by handing back over the land they took in 67'. But no one is going to hold their breath waiting for that to happen cause unfortunately the Jews of Israel are even more preditacble then the Arabs and Persians of the Gulf region.

      September 26, 2013 at 7:03 am | Reply
      • Thinker23

        " If Israel wants peace they can start by handing back over the land they took in 67'."

        But of course! This is exactly what they've done when Israel signed peace agreements with Egypt and Jordan... and NO, Israel DID NOT take any lands from the Palestinians so it can not give them BACK to them.

        September 26, 2013 at 9:33 am |
      • jgarbuz

        If Israel, as the Jewish state, doesn't have the right to exist, what gives the US, Canada or Australia the right to exist. Jews have RETURNED to their ancient homeland as the League of Nations ruled in 1922 they may, but who gave Spaniards, Dutch, English, Scots, Irish and others the right to settle in the lands of aboriginal natives who had been here for at least 17,000 years or more.
        If Israel has no right to exist, America can't claim the right to exist either.

        September 26, 2013 at 6:06 pm |
    • Thinker23

      "...he shouldn't criticize us for stealing land and building illegal settlements..."

      Not at all! To the contrary, he and anyone else SHOULD criticize Israel for stealing land and building illegal settlements. The ONLY requirement for doing it is to SHOW THE LEGAL DEEDS proving that the "stolen" land belongs to someone else and SHOW THE LAWS prohibiting the Jews from building homes in the West Bank but allowing the Arabs to do it. You see, "criticism" WITHOUT EVIDENCE is nothing but baseless accusations.

      Simple, is not it?

      September 26, 2013 at 9:31 am | Reply
  17. Razr

    Brown Nosing is the best this guy can do. I figure they are really really close to finishing a Nuke and will do whatever they need to do to stall and make it seem as if they are ready to comply with many demands from the EU and UN and Arab neighbors so that when they finally test fire a shot in the desert then they will say the same thing India and Pakistan did. "Hey every one we got Nuke's to" this would of course cause a two or three prong effect from USA and Israel. "War what is it good for 'Huh' absolutely nothing" . So everybody should be getting ready to hunker down for a nee war in the Middle East, the times are ripe.

    September 25, 2013 at 6:33 pm | Reply
  18. Name's Ali, Mohammed Ali

    Nobody can deny Holocaust. It DID happen.

    It's the milking of it and using it as emotional blackmail that gets people turned off.

    September 25, 2013 at 6:53 pm | Reply
  19. Ali Taranssari

    A very good interview...but I wonder why there is no sound in that final 20 seconds of the interview where President Rouhani is talking about the inhuman effect of sanctions on medicine and medical devices for Iranian people! Also the translation in the 10 seconds prior to the complete mute is not reflecting what President Rouhani was saying, that is when he was beginning to talk about sanctions on the Iranian Central bank! If this has been done intentionally, it is so absurd! and specially when this is CNN's official page!

    September 25, 2013 at 7:24 pm | Reply
  20. Shorn

    It's like Iran just woke up from a bad dream. Who knows what their true intentions are, but it's amazing to hear them speak sanity.

    September 25, 2013 at 7:27 pm | Reply
  21. Guess they found a country to stick it with.

    The 6 million figure was used dozens of times between the 1890s (after Herzl started Zionism and the First Zionist Congress) and the late 1940s. The New York Times as well as other newspapers cited the 6 million figure in columns and news stories, though earlier on the figure was applied to Jews in Russia. Only after the Bolshevik revolution did the focus begin to shift westward, settling on Germany after the rise of the Nazi Party.

    September 25, 2013 at 8:12 pm | Reply
  22. Jim - Tampa

    It seems obvious to me that the new president of Iran is a far wiser man than ADL National Director Abraham Foxman. The subjugation of the Palestinians is not comparable to the holocaust that is true, but Israel has no moral high ground on human rights when it comes to the brutal subjugation of the Palestinians.

    September 25, 2013 at 8:17 pm | Reply
  23. FuzzyThinker

    This guy is a great talker. Until he actually does any of the things he talks about, it is just entertainment. US has granted waivers on him selling oil to India and others. If we cut those waiver amounts in-half, I expect there would be more progress.

    September 25, 2013 at 8:50 pm | Reply
  24. John - Atlanta

    I welcome any discussion between perceived "enemies" that might lead to a better understanding of the other side's perspective.

    September 25, 2013 at 9:13 pm | Reply
  25. daryoush movahedi

    United states government should not trust Iranian government .

    god bless united states .

    September 25, 2013 at 9:33 pm | Reply
    • Name's Ali, Mohammed Ali

      The ghost of the Shah haunting you still, "daryoush movahedi" ?

      September 25, 2013 at 10:03 pm | Reply
    • Navid

      There is an obvious and clear messages between the leaders of the two country, where as the Iranian people has chosen the path of negotiation and peace. I do believe that if United States has the logical thought to cooperate with Iran in Middle east there are many common interests and issues that could be solved by Iran and US being ally in the region.

      September 26, 2013 at 8:42 am | Reply
  26. God

    Ironically, Holocaust repeatively taught in history as the worst tragedy in humanity while Stalin's Red Purge and Mao's Cultural Rev & Great Leap Forward didn't get so much attentions by everyone as much as the Holocaust.
    Communist genocides up there proved us a true philosophy about how can an untested testimony can give birth to a great destruction and a tyrannical nightmare.

    September 25, 2013 at 10:17 pm | Reply
    • paulovg12

      You missed Pol Pot and the Khymer Rouge, the genocide of the Tutsis in Africa, Bosnia and many more. Centuries ago entire cities were annihilated by Tamerlane and Genghis Khan, … The Holocaust was discussed in relation to the comment of his predecessor about the Palestinian issue and the right of the Israeli State to exist and the role the west had in making it so. After 3 generations though, it is about time to move ahead, correct whatever can be corrected in relation to the Palestinian People. You cannot deny the existence of Israel because it exists and they can defend themselves, but maybe they should compensate the Palestinians, maybe nurture them so they can grow as a nation as well.

      September 25, 2013 at 10:37 pm | Reply
  27. paulovg12

    I believe that the person is sincere, the problem with Iran though is it is a Theocracy he is not the highest authority it is Ali Khamenei who succeeded the Ayatollah. Although Rafsanjani is speaking in behalf of the Iranian Government one must wonder how much of what he thinks is actually shared with the Ayatollah and if there is a danger that all these negotiations will come to nothing if the Ayatollah later disagrees with him. For the people in the middle east though, I really wish peace will come to them, Iran and the US do not have to be close friends, they just have to be amicable and friendly.

    September 25, 2013 at 10:18 pm | Reply
  28. Mohamad Reza

    It is interesting that in the translation at the end of the video Hassan Rouhani was talking about how the sanction affects the common people and they cannot access medical supplies. That's the problem with sanction that it does not affect the people in power.
    Please translate correctly!!!!

    Thanks

    September 25, 2013 at 10:19 pm | Reply
    • Name's Ali, Mohammed Ali

      I must have read 20-30 articles in US media. They do play games. CNN being one of them. They set negative preconceived ideas about Iran before they talk about the real event. None of the US media (to my knowledge0 have talked about the sufferings of ordinary citizens of Iran because of US (and Israel). For example, the phrase Rouhani is on "charm offensive" has been coined by Netanyahu and his minions in AIPAC, and the US journalists keep repeating it like dumb parrots.

      September 25, 2013 at 10:29 pm | Reply
  29. AlecBuster

    The Iranian president's remarks are amazing, given the rhetoric from both sides over the past 40 years. Let's remember that the young people of Iran are not the same as the hyoerconservatives who have traditionally controlled the government. They are quite progressive. Recall, that they risked their lives by protesting the former regime's oppressive policies.

    In my opinion, I find his remarks extremely encouraging and hope we can now move down the path of peace and open dialog!

    September 25, 2013 at 10:28 pm | Reply
  30. its pure nonsense..this was all arranged to give appearances

    why was my comment deleted? there was nothing profane...or is cnn using censorship? tsk tsk...a liberal site using censorship...how strange is that...NOT

    September 25, 2013 at 10:36 pm | Reply
  31. Easterner

    US+Israel, "We have hundreds of knives but you can't have any, Iran !! "

    September 25, 2013 at 11:00 pm | Reply
  32. BabaSlnmsi12

    Can't wait to see what that murderer Netanyahu is going to bring to Un this year.
    I hope it all blows up in his evil face.

    September 25, 2013 at 11:08 pm | Reply
  33. Ari

    I know both languages, I am afriad why the final answer of the part 1 "Mis-translated"?

    September 26, 2013 at 12:08 am | Reply
  34. Rick DeGemmis

    My comment is directed at Christiane Amanpour. It was so refreshing to hear a journalist ask the tough questions and in a way that made your guest feel respected but compelled to answer.

    September 26, 2013 at 1:18 am | Reply
  35. Benjamin Irani

    What a piece of synchronicity. The astonishing release of myriad political prisoners in Iran, the sensible drop in exchanging Iranian currency to US Dollar, the merciful permit for Iranian permanent residents outside of Iran to return home for three months annually, the incredible peaceful speeches, the willingness to sit down and negotiate with states, and on top of them all the greetings to American fellas from an Iranian president...

    I am not claiming that Rouhani is the guardian angel sent to save Iran from its suffered miseries unlike the shenanigans such as mysterious white horse in bible appearing as Obama but from an Iranian born yet raised in the west citizen, I can easily detect promising actions through this newly born government rather than unfulfilled promises!

    To dim-witted potheads, e.g. Falcon, yet speaking of issues which their generations won't be able to digest: Please leave politics alone, you need to learn that the reason you get headaches is not Iran or developing countries as such, is probably your lack of education or knowledge per se. Your heart and mind are filled with ignorance and hate because probably you haven't achieved anything in your life and you are simply fat and ugly sitting behind a computer desk or TV all day and judging things which your brain-nut can't handle. Given people disdain towards your existence, you may get attention this way but I am sure you have no idea what happiness really means!

    September 26, 2013 at 3:32 am | Reply
    • Falcon

      Benji, do us a favor, please go read some history books!

      September 26, 2013 at 9:26 am | Reply
  36. swarna shanmugalingam

    Reblogged this on sueshan123.

    September 26, 2013 at 5:15 am | Reply
  37. shamgar50

    One fact you need to remember in all this. "WE" started the fight with Iran. Look it up.There's a very valid reason, why they don't trust us.

    September 26, 2013 at 7:22 am | Reply
  38. happyB

    Words matter. Maybe this new president is a liar and a bad guy. But, maybe he's actually sincere and he wants to move Iran forward. Actions will prove that out. There are 100s of years of crimes that we have committed against against each other, it's not going to be love and kisses over night. However, I know the world's a better place when we're talking and trying to find common ground rather than trying to kill each other.

    September 26, 2013 at 7:44 am | Reply
  39. Navid

    There are alot of problems in translation of Mr. President`s words, some sentences are translated wrongly.

    September 26, 2013 at 8:38 am | Reply
  40. sdf453456

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    September 26, 2013 at 11:32 am | Report abuse | Reply

    September 26, 2013 at 11:36 am | Reply
  41. dajowi

    Let's put this guys honesty to the test. Line up 5 innocent Israeli's and 5 known Iranian terrorists. Give Rouhani a AK 47 and tell him to shoot the bad guys.

    September 26, 2013 at 11:44 am | Reply
    • kian

      absolutely terrorist should be condemned. but with AK in hands of president??? really??? can u imagine Obama does this?

      September 26, 2013 at 1:05 pm | Reply
    • Kiumars

      Can you find 5 innocent Israelis?

      September 26, 2013 at 5:35 pm | Reply
  42. kian

    Translation is not accurate in many sentences. they are near but not exact. Please consider reviewing and be neutral. it is people's job to judge not translator or you.

    September 26, 2013 at 1:04 pm | Reply
  43. Imran Pathan

    what I think that all country of the world has prepared for nuclear weapon and if one country attack other country so victim country you think that not attack on country who has attack one country with nuclear weapon it will sure gave same answer by attacking nuclear weapon on who has attack them with nuclear weapon while thinking now we are over so make them also over and in that thinking all world will over so now only one way is left that all shake hand in this nuclear weapon matter because small countries I have seen testing nuclear weapon from this one can think big countries reach where in nuclear weapon development so all country head shake hand by medieval communication in mater of nuclear weapon and this is not request but an order from Imran Pathan to head of all countries of world to shake hand by medieval communication in this matter of nuclear weapon and not to use in any condition nuclear weapon.

    September 26, 2013 at 1:52 pm | Reply
  44. Imran Pathan

    same thing for chemical weapon and releasing poisonous gas that not to use such weapon in any condition such weapon

    September 26, 2013 at 1:56 pm | Reply
  45. Imran Pathan

    what I think that all country of the world has prepared for nuclear weapon and if one country attack other country so victim country you think that not attack on country who has attack one country with nuclear weapon it will sure gave same answer by attacking nuclear weapon on who has attack them with nuclear weapon while thinking now we are over so make them also over and in that thinking all world will over as all country of world has nuclear weapon so now only one way is left that all shake hand in this nuclear weapon matter because small countries I have seen testing nuclear weapon from this one can think big countries reach where in nuclear weapon development so all country head shake hand by medieval communication in mater of nuclear weapon and this is not request but an order from Imran Pathan to head of all countries of world to shake hand by medieval communication in this matter of nuclear weapon and not to use in any condition nuclear weapon and same thing for chemical weapon and releasing poisonous gas that not to use such weapon in any condition.

    September 26, 2013 at 2:05 pm | Reply
  46. Imran Pathan

    and focus and think of Humanitarian rather than war from different type of weapons like chemical weapons nuclear weapons laser weapons poisonous gas and see that each human of world get his basic necessity easily like food water and shelter

    September 26, 2013 at 2:22 pm | Reply
  47. John Salmeier

    Iran’s Leader, Denouncing Holocaust, Stirs Dispute. Please fire you translator!

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/26/world/middleeast/for-irans-leader-time-is-not-yet-right-for-meeting-obama.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

    September 26, 2013 at 2:41 pm | Reply
  48. samoosa

    ynet news.
    Iran: CNN falsified Rohani's Holocaust comments
    Day after Rohani gives interview to CNN's Amanpour, claims Holocaust 'reprehensible, condemnable', official Iranian news agency claims network intentionally 'mistranslated' Rohani. Amanpour 'knows Farsi better than me' FARS editor said

    September 26, 2013 at 3:18 pm | Reply
  49. acrabahyiouspe

    Shame on CNN!

    Amanpour lies that the Iranian president admitted that the Holocaust occurred and that he condemned it! The Iranian media has strongly denied that their president made those statements. As Amanpour speaks fluent Farsi, she could not have been incompetent in making these false claims, but lying to sensationalize her interview!

    Fareed Zakaria is also censoring the name of Saeed Abedini, the name of the American citizen who is being tortured in a jail in Iran for the "crime" of leaving Islam for another religion, even on articles on Iran! Is Fareed Zakaria an intolerant Islamist who is against freedom of religion?

    Why is CNN hiring such fruitcakes?

    September 26, 2013 at 4:40 pm | Reply
    • BabaSlnmsi12

      heh heh "Amit-Atlanta" in disguise – his hatred still shows though

      September 26, 2013 at 7:15 pm | Reply
  50. Kiumars

    I am Iranian and I can also read lips and can tell you that in the CNN interview clip the English translation about Holocaust is totally incorrect and translator has added to what the president said extensively (at least twice the size of what President Rouhani actually said in his 1:55 minute answer). CNN is trying to say that Iranians confirm the Holocaust; the event that no historian has ever been able to confirm with evidence; there is no evidence, if there was evidence the case would have been closed!

    September 26, 2013 at 5:29 pm | Reply
  51. Allen

    If U check the other news websites, Amanpour is being criticized by the official Iranaian news agency for not translating the interview correctly. They are denying that he even acknowledged the holocaust and if U read their translation they openly criticize Amanpour because she speaks Persian. CNN please clarify what looks like more than an omission, but appears to be a blatant lie.

    September 26, 2013 at 5:43 pm | Reply
    • BabaSlnmsi12

      As if Holocaust is the benchmark of all negotiations. lol!

      There are more important things to be considered going forth...for both the nations.

      September 26, 2013 at 7:11 pm | Reply
  52. whitewidow

    CNN must be sued over mistranslation
    A senior Iranian lawmaker has called for legal action against CNN for broadcasting a falsified translation of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani's remarks in a recent interview with the US news network.

    September 28, 2013 at 10:14 am | Reply
  53. Kevin Hudson

    I believe Fars News is iranian version of Fox News, We should not pay attention to them at all.

    September 28, 2013 at 3:25 pm | Reply
  54. Alireza

    Dear Mrs Amanpour
    Hasan Rouhani is not Iranian President , He is Islamic rejim President. He is The President of ( Ali Khamenie & Akbar Rafsanjani )

    September 29, 2013 at 4:46 am | Reply
  55. CRPN

    Dear Mrs. Amanpour, You had the opportunity to question Rouhani about CURRENT crimes against humanity that are being carried out in Iran. Why did you fail to ask him about religious persecution of the Bahai Faith community? Not asking this question was a huge slap in our face. How could he sit there and say that is it wrong to persecute and kill anyone when just last month, one of the members of the Bahai community was murdered in Iran? Bahai's are denied a right to a college education in Iran. There are Bahai's who have been imprisoned for 5 yrs and counting simply because of the faith they profess.....Very disappointing.

    September 30, 2013 at 1:22 pm | Reply
  56. Guillermo Robles Amenábar

    Hi Christiane,
    Excellent.
    Mr Rouhani seems to be a very decent person.
    It's about time Iran gets a fair treatment from western media.

    February 4, 2014 at 6:01 pm | Reply

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