Iran mulls suing CNN for Rouhani interview

Sept. 29, 2013 at 7:52 AM
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TEHRAN, Sept. 29 (UPI) -- Iran is mulling legal action against CNN, alleging it falsified President Hassan Rouhani's statements in an interview with the American network, officials said.

"After distorting the statements of our country's president, now CNN must be banned and proper legal action needs to be taken in this regard," the semi-official Fars news agency quoted Alledin Boroujerdi, chairman of the Iranian Parliament's National and Security Foreign Policy Commission, saying Saturday.

"This action by the CNN meant betrayal of trust and it can be pursued and protested," he said.

He was referring to a Sept.24 interview by the network's Christiane Amanpour with Rouhani on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly meeting in New York. Amanpour asked the Iranian president if unlike his predecessor, he recognized the Holocaust.

Iran claims the translation of the CNN interview that appeared on the screen contained several words and sentences that were not mentioned by Rouhani and alleged his statements on the Holocaust were falsified and fabricated, the news agency said.

Fars said the CNN translation was: "I've said before that I am not a historian and then, when it comes to speaking of the dimensions of the Holocaust, it is the historians that should reflect on it. But in general I can tell you that any crime that happens in history against humanity, including the crime that Nazis committed towards the Jews as well as non-Jews is reprehensible and condemnable, Whatever criminality they committed against the Jews we condemn, the taking of human life is contemptible, it makes no difference whether that life is Jewish life, Christian or Muslim, for us it is the same, but taking the human life is something our religion rejects but this doesn't mean that on the other hand you can say Nazis committed crimes a 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."

Fars offered a different translation of Rouhani's response:"I have said before that I am not a historian and historians should specify, state and explain the aspects of historical events, but generally we fully condemn any kind of crime committed against humanity throughout the history, including the crime committed by the Nazis both against the Jews and non-Jews, the same way that if today any crime is committed against any nation or any religion or any people or any belief, we condemn that crime and genocide. Therefore, what the Nazis did is condemned, (but) the aspects that you talk about, clarification of these aspects is a duty of the historians and researchers, I am not a history scholar."

Fars said CNN has ignored a request to correct the translation, air it again and issue an apology.

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