ON an emotive visit to Auschwitz, America’s Vice-President Mike Pence accused Iran of Nazi-like antisemitism.
He said that the Nazi death camp in Poland had made him more determined to confront Tehran, which was “breathing out murderous threats with the same vile antisemitic hatred that animated the Nazis in Europe”.
And at the Munich Security Conference at the weekend, Pence told world leaders: “The Iranian regime openly advocates another Holocaust and it seeks the means to achieve it.”
Iran’s ancient Jewish community has slumped to an estimated 10,000-20,000 from 85,000 at the time of the 1979 Islamic Revolution, but is believed to be the biggest in the Middle East outside Israel.
Pence, who said he was deeply moved by his Auschwitz visit, cited Iran’s stated desire to destroy Israel as justification for singling out the country, rather than focusing on antisemitism across the Middle East.
Polish president Andrzej Duda and Jared Kushner, the son-in-law of President Donald Trump, accompanied him to the death-camp site, viewing a train car, crematoriums and the hair of victims.
Iranian brigadier-general Hossein Salami, deputy head of the elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, said last month that Iran’s strategy was to wipe “the Zionist regime” off the political map.
Pence told reporters: “For me, it simply strengthens my resolve to stand strong against Iran.”
Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif called Pence’s accusation “laughable” and said: “Iran has always supported the Jews. We are just against Zionists.
“The Holocaust was a disaster.”
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