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    Holocaust Denial Discussed on Iranian TV: There Were No Gas Chambers; You Cannot Squeeze 2,000 Jews into 100 Square Meters

    The following excerpts are from a TV debate on Holocaust denial, which aired on Al-Alam TV on May 5, 2010. This information was gleaned from Debka

    Interviewer: It is a myth that has almost become a conviction. If it really happened, why was it restricted to one group alone? The questions are: Did the Holocaust really take place? Did the gas chambers indeed consume the Jews, but nobody else? Did gas chambers even exist? Most importantly, why do some people doubt this? Don’t historians have the right to reexamine the so-called taboos? 


    Ali Hatar (Jordanian Association against Zionism and Racism): Did it or did it not happen? That is the question. To this day, those who claim that [the Holocaust] did take place have been unable to provide any evidence whatsoever to that effect. 

    Interviewer: None whatsoever? 

    Ali Hatar: No evidence whatsoever. Of course, some political analyses and some... 

    Interviewer: That’s another matter. 

    Ali Hatar: They often say: “It happened – what proof do you want?” That’s another matter. But to bring a single piece of evidence... 

    Interviewer: They didn’t. 

    Ali Hatar: We are not saying that it didn’t happen. We are saying: Give us some evidence. They have not managed to bring a shred of evidence. I challenge them to do so. Therefore, they have prevented historical revisionists from investigating this. Their first opponents were the Americans. They fired them from their positions and kicked them out of their jobs. We will go over their names later. They prevented them from investigating. 


    Mahdi Al-Afifi (Democratic Party activist, New York): I’m sure that my colleague has access to the Internet. He should check out the thousands of booklets written about the Holocaust. 


    Ali Hatar: This is a Red Cross report from 1949. The Red Cross is an international institution. This is a Red Cross report – an international institution. It is from 1949, and it is about the five years of war. Its committees operated throughout Europe. This report refutes the claim that anyone was killed in these camps, during the so-called Holocaust. It also mentions the self-management [of the camps] by the Jews. These are not my words. I didn’t write the report. It is a report of the ICRC – the Red Cross. 


    Mahdi Al-Afifi: This makes a mockery of people’s intelligence. The Holocaust took place, and our attempts to use information that is not... 

    Interviewer: Okay, Dr. Mahdi Al-Afifi... 

    Mahdi Al-Afifi: ...does not help the Arabs or the Muslims. 


    Mahdi Al-Afifi: This just causes pointless hatred. 

    Ali Hatar: We seek the truth, and only then will we consider our position. We seek the truth because this hatred that you are talking about is what caused Gaza. It affects us. The US gives Israel 11 billion dollars, and Germany gives it 3 billion dollars annually. That is how the Holocaust affects us. They planted Israel in our midst. That is the result of the Holocaust. What hatred are you talking about? 


    He talks about thousands of books. This is the same kind of exaggeration as the figure “six million.” There are no “thousands” of books written about the Holocaust. There might be a single book claiming that the [Holocaust] took place – Technique and Operation of the Gas Chambers. This book is extremely idiotic, scientifically speaking. There are also a few articles, most of which I have read, but the high quality of the doubters’ research is notable. 

    Interviewer: Why did you call that book “idiotic”? 

    Ali Hatar: Because it deals with technical issues. When we were children, we used to ask each other a riddle: “How do you put an elephant into a fridge in three moves?” The answer was: “You open the door, put in the elephant, then close the door.” That book uses the same logic – you bring 2,000 [Jews], open the door, put them inside, you close the door, and you burn them. How did they get there? How did you transport them? 

    Interviewer: There’s just one book, not thousands, as Dr. Mahdi Al-Afifi claims? 

    Ali Hatar: One book. Let me mention it again, so he can look for it – The Operation and Technique of the Gas Chambers. Where did you come up with the figure of thousands, when there’s only one book? 

    Mahdi Al-Afifi: Brother, this is just in order to show you, you can read it... [holds up copy of Elie Wiesel’s book “Night”] Hundreds of books are taught in American schools and universities. I brought one little book, just as an example. With all due respect, brother, I don’t know where you got your information. I’m sure you have Internet. Go to Google, and enter the word “Holocaust,” and see how many books there are. This author alone has written 40 books about the Holocaust. 


    Ali Hatar: The purpose of [inventing] the Holocaust was to create a guilt complex among the German and European people, so that this guilt complex would motivate the Germans and their rulers to remain... A US Congress report, which I have here, deals with the impact of this guilt complex on the German rulers, who extended aid to Israel. Today, we are the victims of this ongoing aid, which continues because of the guilt complex... I am duty bound to say to the Germans: “Oh German, don’t be stupid. Check if it really happened.” 


    Interviewer: Do gas chambers exist, Doctor? After all, you are an air-conditioning engineer. 

    Ali Hatar: There were chambers that were used as prisons. Other chambers may have been used, towards the end of the war, to burn the corpses of some people who died of typhoid fever. But according to the reports – especially the Red Cross report, and the book Did Six Million Die?, which is an American book – there were no gas chambers, in the sense referred to in the Holocaust issue. 

    What do those who support the existence of gas chambers say? They say these chambers were 500 cubic meters in size, and that they used to put 2,000 to 4,000 people inside. 500 cubic meters – if it was 5 meters high, its area would have been 100 square meters. How can you possibly put 2,000 people into 100 square meters? Just imagine, they say that [the Nazis] put 2,000 to 4,000 victims in each “cooking.” There are no chambers... If you travel to the US and visit the chambers for execution by gas – they use the same gas – you will see how well-controlled these chambers must be. 


    I work in air-conditioning of pharmaceutical plants, and we sterilize the plant from time to time, and keep the air-conditioning going for 24 hours after the sterilization, in order to disperse the lethal gas. Here they say that within 20 minutes, they would clear the chamber and it would be clean. How can you possibly remove 2,000 corpses, and clear the chamber in 20 minutes?! This cannot be. 


    This book, Hitler, the Founder of Israel, and many other books and even Western reports, say that Eichmann and the head of the Haganah coordinated the deportation of the Jews. Hitler said: My lawyer is Jewish, my doctor is Jewish, everybody around me is Jewish. He used to say to them: “When we come to power, we must establish a state for the Jews. The solution to the Jewish problem lies in finding a state for them.” 

    This is one of the most important points, which must not be neglected. Hitler banned all the Jewish parties in Germany, except for the Zionist party. He banned all the other Jewish parties – religious and others. He permitted only the party that was associated with the Zionist movement. Eichmann went to the detention camps to give the Jews self-administration. Menachem Begin headed 40,000 people in a detention camp in Poland. Eichmann allowed him to train the Jewish youth in agriculture to prepare them for when they would go to Palestine. He organized Hebrew courses for them, in order to unite them and prepare them for Palestine. There was complete coordination between Hitler’s regime and the Zionist movement, and this coordination is verified in all the books.


    Secret document exposes Iran's nuclear trigger

    The Times-(Catherine Philip) Confidential intelligence documents obtained by The Times show that Iran is working on testing a key final component of a nuclear bomb.

    The notes, from Iran's most sensitive military nuclear project, describe a four-year plan to test a neutron initiator, the component of a nuclear bomb that triggers an explosion. Foreign intelligence agencies date them to early 2007, four years after Iran was thought to have suspended its weapons programme.

    An Asian intelligence source last week confirmed to The Times that his country also believed that weapons work was being carried out as recently as 2007 - specifically, work on a neutron initiator.

    The technical document describes the use of a neutron source, uranium deuteride, which independent experts confirm has no possible civilian or military use other than in a nuclear weapon. Uranium deuteride is the material used in Pakistan's bomb, from where Iran obtained its blueprint.

    "Although Iran might claim that this work is for civil purposes, there is no civil application," said David Albright, a physicist and president of the Institute for Science and International Security in Washington, which has 
    analysed hundreds of pages of documents related to the Iranian programme. "This is a very strong indicator of weapons work."

    The documents have been seen by intelligence agencies from several Western countries, including Britain. A senior source at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) confirmed that they had been passed to the UN's nuclear watchdog.

    A Foreign and Commonwealth Office spokeswoman said yesterday: "We do not comment on intelligence, but our concerns about Iran's nuclear programme are clear. Obviously this document, if authentic, raises serious questions about Iran's intentions."

    Responding to The Times' findings, an Israeli government spokesperson said: "Israel is increasingly concerned about the state of the Iranian nuclear programme and the real intentions that may lie behind it."

    The revelation coincides with growing international concern about Iran's nuclear programme. Tehran insists that it wants to build a civilian nuclear industry to generate power, but critics suspect that the regime is intent on diverting the technology to build an atomic bomb.

    In September, Iran was forced to admit that it was constructing a secret uranium enrichment facility near the city of Qom. President Ahmadinejad then claimed that the wanted to build ten such sites. Over the weekend Manouchehr Mottaki, the Iranian Foreign Minister, said that Iran needed up to 15 nuclear power plants to meet its energy needs, despite the country's huge oil and gas reserves.

    Publication of the nuclear documents will increase pressure for tougher UN sanctions against Iran, which are due to be discussed this week. But the latest leaks in a long series of allegations against Iran will also be seized on by hawks in Israel and the US, who support a pre-emptive strike against Iranian nuclear facilities before the country can build its first warhead.

    Mark Fitzpatrick, senior fellow for non-proliferation at the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London, said: "The most shattering conclusion is that, if this was an effort that began in 2007, it could be a casus belli. If Iran is working on weapons, it means there is no diplomatic solution."

    The Times had the documents, which were originally written in Farsi, translated into English and had the translation separately verified by two Farsi speakers. While much of the language is technical, it is clear that the Iranians are intent on concealing their nuclear military work behind legitimate civilian research.

    The fallout could be explosive, especially in Washington, where it is likely to invite questions about President Obama's groundbreaking outreach to Iran.  The papers provide the first evidence which suggests that Iran has pursued weapons studies after 2003 and may actively be doing so today - if the four-year plan continued as envisaged.

    A 2007 US National Intelligence Estimate concluded that weapons work was suspended in 2003 and officials said with "moderate confidence" that it had not resumed by mid-2007. Britain, Germany and France, however, believe that weapons work had already resumed by then.

    Western intelligence sources say that by 2003 Iran had already assembled the technical know-how it needed to build a bomb, but had yet to complete the necessary testing to be sure such a device would work. Iran also lacked sufficient fissile material to fuel a bomb and still does - although it is technically capable of producing weapons-grade uranium should its leaders take the political decision to do so.

    The documents detail a plan for tests to determine whether the device works - without detonating an explosion leaving traces of uranium detectable by the outside world. If such traces were found, they would be taken as 
    irreversible evidence of Iran's intention to become a nuclear-armed power.

    Experts say that, if the 2007 date is correct, the documents are the strongest indicator yet of a continuing nuclear weapons programme in Iran. Iran has long denied a military dimension to its nuclear programme, claiming its nuclear activities are solely focused on the production of energy for civilian use.

    Mr Fitzpatrick said: "Is this the smoking gun? That's the question people should be asking. It looks like the smoking gun. This is smoking uranium."


    Iran successfully simulates nuclear warhead detonation - report DEBKAfile Special Report

    German intelligence reports that Iranian scientists have successfully simulated the detonation of a nuclear warhead in laboratory conditions, in an effort to sidestep an underground nuclear test like the one that brought the world down on North Korea's head earlier this year. DEBKAfile's Iranian and intelligence sources report that this development is alarming because detonation is one of the most difficult technological challenges in the development of a nuclear weapon. Mastering it carries Iran past one of the last major obstacles confronting its program for the manufacture of a nuclear warhead.

    After this breakthrough, the German BND intelligence believes it will take Tehran no more than a year to perfect its expertise and stock enough highly-enriched uranium to make the last leap toward building the first Iranian nuclear bomb or warhead. DEBKAfile's military sources confirm that simulated detonation of a warhead takes Iran to the highest level of weapons development.

    Using the example of Israel and other nations, Western nuclear arms experts have claimed in recent years that since the emergence of simulated detonation technique, nuclear tests are no longer necessary.

    With this hurdle overcome, Tehran has set about restructuring its defense ministry for the coming task of actually making a weapon.

    The new Department for Expanded Technology Applications - FEDAT was set up to speed up the military nuclear program. It is divided into sub-departments for uranium mining (to increase the output of the Yazd mines), enrichment (to guarantee the quantity of high-grade uranium needed for weapons), metallurgy, neutrons, highly explosive material and fuel supply.

    Wednesday, Dec. 2, Iran's president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said: "The Iranian nation will by itself make the 20 percent (nuclear) fuel (enriched uranium) and whatever it needs."

    President Barack Obama has reminded Tehran that it has until the end of the year for a negotiated accommodation on its nuclear program that will uphold its international obligations. However, tor Iran's leaders, progress toward a nuclear weapon is now unstoppable by any diplomatic means.


    Russia to sign up to Sanctions on Iran

    MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia will join any consensus on moresanctions against Iran, a senior Russian diplomatic source said on Tuesday after Tehran declared it would expand nuclear activity in defiance of a U.N. rebuke.

    It was a thinly veiled Russian warning to Iran of waning patience with its failure to allay fears it aims to develop atom bombs in secret, and hinted that Iran could no longer rely on Russia to stop tougher world action against it.

    Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad voiced defiance on Tuesday, saying sanctions would have no effect and that no more talks on the nuclear dispute were needed with the West. Speaking on state television, he also criticized Russian action.

    Governors of the U.N. nuclear agency passed a resolution on Friday censuring Iran for covertly constructing a second enrichment plant near the holy city of Qom, in addition to its IAEA-monitored one atNatanz, and demanding a construction halt.

    Tehran said on Sunday it would build 10 more uranium enrichment sites -- a pledge that Ahmadinejad said on Tuesday was "not a bluff".

    Iran's announcement had been in retaliation for the 25-3 vote by the International Atomic Energy Agency's 35-nation Board of Governors, which sailed through with unusual Russian and Chinese support.

    "If there is a consensus on Iran sanctions, we will not stand aside," said the Russian diplomatic source, who requested anonymity due to the sensitivity of the situation.

    By referring to "consensus", Russia could be leaving itself an escape hatch since China has been the most resistant to punitive steps against Iran among the six world powers.

    The source made clear Moscow would not move so fast to embrace harsher sanctions as the United States and EU powers, who want to act early next year if Tehran has not begun fulfilling IAEA demands for nuclear restraint and transparency by then.

    "We will be thinking about sanctions but this is not an issue of the next few hours or weeks," he said.

    Russia did not want to complicate the situation with threats against Iran.

    "We would rather have Iran cooperating more openly and consistently with the IAEA and showing clear steps to lift concerns -- which are gaining greater foundation -- than introducing sanctions against Iran," the source said.


    In his televised comments, Ahmadinejad dismissed the threat of sanctions and warned any "aggressor" against Iran.

    "Sanctions will have no effect. Aggressors will regret their action as soon as they put their finger on the trigger," he said.

    Israel has hinted at the possibility of attacking Iranian facilities if it deems diplomacy at a dead end.

    Ahmadinejad said Western attempts to isolate Iran were in vain and he criticized Russia.

    "Russia made a mistake by backing the anti-Iran resolution and we believe that their analysis in this regard was incorrect," he said.

    The Russian source said Iran's plan for 10 more enrichment plants did "not add optimism to talks", in a reference to talks with Tehran revived in October but stalled by disputes.

    The United States and its allies fear Iran will divert its declared civilian nuclear energy program to yieldingatomic bombs, not electricity. Tehran says it has no such intention.

    Concerns have deepened over Iran's retreat from an October deal in principle that would see its low-enriched uranium -- which is potential fissile material for bombs -- sent abroad for processing into fuel for a nuclear medicine reactor in Tehran.

    "The situation surrounding the agency is stormy now. We have a lot of difficult challenges," new IAEA Director-General Yukiya Amano told reporters on his first day in office after succeeding Mohamed ElBaradei. Amano declined to elaborate.

    IAEA spokeswoman Gill Tudor said Iran had not yet informed the U.N. nuclear inspectorate directly of its new enrichment plans and that it would seek clarification from Tehran.

    Western diplomats and analysts believe the new enrichment plan may be largely bluster, possibly a negotiating gambit by Iran, and would take many years if not decades to execute.

    But analysts said the risk remained of Iran using an array of above-board civilian enrichment plants to camouflage one or two small covert sites geared to enriching uranium to the high purity suitable for nuclear warheads.

    (Additional reporting by Parisa Hafezi in Tehran; Andrew Hammond in Dubai; Sylvia Westall in Vienna; Writing by Mark Heinrich; Editing by Charles Dick)



    Can Iran be trusted?

    Christain Science Monitor-London – In the run-up to talks with Iran last month, many in Europe and the United States asked whether Iran would, or even could, come clean on its nuclear activities.

    Should the West trust Iranian promises? The short answer is "no." But the underlying question is "Why not?"

    The answer lies in Iranian belief systems – notably the doctrine of taqiyya, a difficult concept for many non-Muslims to grasp. Taqiyya is the Shiite religious rationale for concealment or dissimulation in political or worldly affairs. At one level it means that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his regime can tell themselves that they are obliged by their faith not to tell the truth.

    This doctrine has not been discussed much in the West, but it should be. How should the world deal with taqiyya in Shiite Islam in the context of Iran's nuclear file?

    Can Iran be trusted?
    In Iran, the teachings of Shiite Islam govern all aspects of society. And taqiyya – dissimulation and concealment – is one of the key elements of the Shiite faith. While many outsiders are surprised by Iran's concealment of its nuclear installations, those who study the Shiite faith and recognize the signs of taqiyya are not.

    Many governments lie about strategic secrets, especially secrets about nuclear weapons. Witness Israel's concealment of its nuclear capabilities. And former Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping counseled his country to "hide its brightness" – for strategic reasons.

    Iran's approach to its nuclear ambitions, however, is a different form of deception and denial. Certainly states do not need a religious edict to lie or obfuscate. But it helps if a state has one already in place.

    What can the West do?
    Western negotiators must be mindful, not only of the technical side of Iran's nuclear program, but the historical evolution of taqiyya. Such context sheds critical light on the insecurities of the Iranian regime and that of the Shiite community at large.

    Taqiyya doesn't mean the West should give up all negotiations with Iran, or that Iran can never be trusted. Tehran's concealment is a means to an end: It wants nuclear weapons to provide security for the clerical regime and the Shiite community. So long as Iran feels threatened, it will deceive. But if the West can ease Tehran's anxiety with strong assurances, then negotiations will be more truthful.

    How a doctrine of deceit developed
    Taqiyya requires the faithful to be deceitful at times of weakness. The history of Shiites in their conflict with Sunnis is a history of the downtrodden. They have been the underdogs in Islamic history, and have had to protect both their communities and their faith from being overrun by the more numerous Sunnis. Taqiyya emerged as a response.

    Taqiyya offers a license to violate the strict rules of the faith in cases of extreme pressure or threat of extinction – something not unusual in Sunni-Shiite history. The doctrine allows dissimulation in the service of self-preservation, practiced by the faithful.

    The teachings of Jafar al-Sadiq, the sixth Shiite imam, emphasise taqiyya as a political tool. "Befriend people on the surface, and keep your grudges and intentions hidden," he advised. He also defined the relationship between the Shiite and other Muslims: "[B]eing double-faced with one's own takes one outside the bounds of faith, but with others [with non-Shiites] is a form of worship."

    The words of Shiite imams are viewed as having the authority of the prophet Muhammad, and they entail obligations. Taqiyya is one component of the faith, and the Shiites are instructed to practice it until the time the Mahdi returns. The Mahdi is the figure who, like the Messiah in Christianity, will return and spread justice on earth.

    Until that moment occurs, the Shiite faithful are obliged to practice taqiyya in their dealings with other Muslims, as well as with non-Muslims.

    Opposing value systems
    While the policies of the West and of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) are driven by the concept of transparency as a key doctrine of modernity and modern states, those who are negotiating withIran must question the extent to which the Shiite regime in Tehran is driven by the concept of concealment. There are two different value systems at work here, making common ground exceedingly difficult to find.

    Today the West may rightly be obsessed with nuclear installations in Iran, or the number of centrifuges it has, or even uranium-enrichment levels.

    Last month, Iranian officials allowed IAEA officials to inspect a nuclear facility near the city of Qom. But they won't reveal everything: that would violate their faith. Shiites are obliged by their religious teachings to protect both the faith and the community until the return of the Mahdi. From Tehran's perspective, "nuclear" taqiyya is a must, because strategic nuclear weapons are the only means to protect the Shiite community in these modern times.

    The West must understand that Iran's nuclear guile is a function of regime insecurities. And its insecurity is rooted in reality: Iran feels squeezed by the tens of thousands of US troops who brought regime change to its west, in Iraq, and to its east, in Afghanistan.

    If Washington wants a breakthrough in its negotiations with Iran, it should make fewer threats and more assurances. Only when the Iranian regime feels safe will it negotiate in good faith.

    Mamoun Fandy is the director of the Middle East program at the International Institute of Strategic Studies in London. He's also the author of the forthcoming book, "The Shia-Sunni Divide and the Coming Middle Eastern Cold War."