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Iran Offers $50,000 Cash Prize to ‘Best Cartoon on Holocaust’

Woody Allen play to open in Tehran

Hassan Rouhani
Hassan Rouhani / AP
• December 18, 2015 12:12 pm

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The Iranian regime is offering a $50,000 prize to the individual who submits "the best cartoon on the Holocaust" as part of the 11th Tehran International Cartoon Biennial, according to conference organizers.

Cartoonists from at least 50 countries will be participating in the Holocaust contest, with the top three runners up receiving "cash prizes" of $12,000, $8,000, and $5,000 for their work mocking the genocide that killed more than six million Jews, according to comments made by conference organizers and reported by Iran’s state-controlled Islamic Republic News Agency.

Iranian officials and regime hardliners, including former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, are notorious for denying the Holocaust and mocking those killed in the genocide.

Officials in Tehran have announced multiple versions of the Holocaust cartoon contest in recent years, though the latest conference could be its largest.

Masud Shojai-Tabatabai, an organizer of the contest, told the Iranian media that there are legitimate questions to be raised about the Holocaust. He went on to compare the Palestinians to the Jews killed by Adolf Hitler’s Nazi regime.

"We do not mean to approve or deny the Holocaust, however, the main question is that why is there no permission to talk about the Holocaust despite their [the West’s] belief in freedom of speech," Shojaj-Tabatabai was quoted as saying.

He accused Israel of waging a "contemporary holocaust" against the Palestinian.

"Moreover, why should the oppressed people of Palestine pay the price for the Holocaust?" Shojaj-Tabatabai asked. "We are also worried about the contemporary holocausts in which a great number of women and children are being killed in Iraq, Yemen and Syria."

Additionally, the conference features a separate contest to mock Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, according to the organizers. It will take place "on the sidelines" of the Holocaust contest.

The Palestine Museum of Contemporary Art will subsequently display the Netanyahu caricatures.

Meanwhile, an Iranian acting troupe is gearing up to perform a Persian-language version of Woody Allen’s play, Don’t Drink the Water, according to separate reports.

The performance will take place Tehran’s Hafez Hall on Jan. 4, 2016, according to the report.

Published under: Iran