CNN Denies Mistranslating Rowhani Interview

Iranian state-run media said Rowhani did not refer to 'Holocaust' in interview

September 25, 2013

CNN said it did not mistranslate Iranian President Hassan Rowhani’s comments about the Holocaust to make him sound more moderate during a Tuesday interview with Christiane Amanpour, contradicting a report that ran in Iran’s state-run news agency.

According to the government-run Fars News service, CNN mistranslated Rowhani’s statements and downplayed his suggestion that the Holocaust was not an historical fact.

CNN told the Washington Free Beacon that the translator who worked on the interview was actually hired by the Iranian government.

According to the Fars News translation of Rowhani’s CNN interview, the Iranian president did not use the term "Holocaust," instead referring to it as "historical events." He also did not use the term "reprehensible," according to Fars News.

The Iranian news agency also reported that CNN added in sentences that Rowhani did not say at all including, "Whatever criminality they committed against the Jews, we condemn, the taking of human life is contemptible ... 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 crime 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."

When asked about his views on the Holocaust during the interview, Rowhani said that he is "not a historian and historians should specify, state and explain the aspects of historical events," according to the Fars News translation.

It is unclear whether this is part of a diplomatic strategy by the Iranian regime. Fars News has previously walked back diplomatic statements that were attributed to Rowhani by the Western media.

After a Twitter account purportedly belonging to Rowhani sent out a message wishing "Happy Rosh Hashanah" to Jews around the world, the Iranian news agency reported that it was not his actual Twitter account.

CNN’s Christiane Amanpour, who conducted the interview, has regularly praised Rowhani for his supposedly moderate positions.