The second New Horizon conference – "the 2nd International Conference of Independent Thinkers" – held September 27-October 1, 2014 in Tehran was a gathering of prominent Holocaust deniers, conspiracy theorists, and BDS and other activists from around the world.
The conference, which was backed and supported by the Iranian regime, was organized by Nader Talebzadeh, Hamad Qashqavi, and Gholemreza Montazami, who also organized previous international conferences sponsored by the regime, such as the "Hollywoodism 2nd Conference" ("Hollywood 'Entertainment' Or Hollywood 'Servant Of Zionism Network?'"). The three work closely with circles affiliated with the regime and collaborate in particular with Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) circles.
Among the 30-odd conferees at this year's New Horizon conference, which bills itself as a "conference of independent thinkers and film makers," were leading U.S. and other Holocaust deniers, conspiracy theorists, BDS and anti-war activists, and more (see Appendix II). The list of participants, as well as the conference program, are posted on the English-language section of the conference website.
The tradition of an annual anti-Israel conference was originated in 2005 by Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, with the "World Without Zionism" conference; in a speech at that conference, Ahmadinejad called for "eliminating the occupying regime [Israel]" and setting as a goal "a world without the United States and Zionism."
New Horizon Conference 2014 – Topics
According to the Iranian regime news outlet Press TV, the conference was aimed at "providing a platform where independent thinkers can gather" and raising issues such as "the Islamic Awakening movement," "the role of Zionist lobbies in the European and U.S. crises," "introducing international anti-Zionist and anti-imperialist figures," and "Islamic resistance against the Zionist regime." Other subjects discussed at the conference included similarities between Nazism and Zionism, America and the Zionist crimes in the world, and the BDS movement.
The conference program on the website gives the titles of the panel discussions and the names of the panelists, and lists the themes of the discussion. For Day One, September 29, the first panel discussion following ceremonies, speeches, and lectures is "The Iran Nuclear File & Israel's Role," and one of its themes is "The untrustworthiness of the P5+1 as negotiating partners, as well as their hypocrisy, and lack of sincerity." Following that is listed a panel discussion titled "Mossad's Role in the 9/11 Coup d'Etat" and the panelists are given as Thierry Meyssan, Kevin Barrett, Maurizio Blondet, and Jim Fetzer via video link; themes listed for this discussion include "9/11 and the Holocaust as pro-Zionist 'Public Myths'" and "Uniting the Muslim Ummah for 9/11 Truth and Against Zionism."
The first event listed for Day Two, September 30, was a panel discussion on "The Gaza War & BDS Movement Strategies against the Zionist Regime" with panelists Randy Short, Tim Pool, Caleb Maupin and others. Other Day Two panel discussions listed were "The Israeli Lobby vs. the U.S. National Interest (especially as it relates to Middle East Policy)"; "The Mechanisms of Action of the Israeli Lobby and their Effects in Western Capitals"; "The Mechanisms of Action of the Israeli Lobby and their Effects in Western Capitals, Continued"; and "Hosayn Sheykh ol-Islam – Association of NGOs Working for the Liberation of al-Qods."
Day Three's program began with a panel discussion on "Islam as Authentic Universal Religion vs. Zionist Memes of Islam"; one of the panelists listed was Thierry Meyssan. One of the themes of this discussion was given as "The true nature of the war on terror: the case of al-Qaeda and ISIS."
The program also included "conversations" on topics such as "The 'Islamic' State Meme, its Precursors, & the U.S.-Israel-Saudi Triangle."
The Iranian Regime's Involvement In The New Horizon Conference
The involvement of the Iranian regime in the organization of the New Horizon conference and the participation of top regime officials in it is very obvious. First of all, the URL of the conference website, Newhorizon.ir, shows that it was conducted under the official sponsorship of the Iranian regime.
Second, top officials in the Iranian political leadership, some of whom are personally close to Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, were panelists at the conference – for example: Alaa Al-Din Boroujerdi, chairman of the Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Committee; Hossein Sheikh Al-Islam, secretary of the Committee for the Support of the Palestinian Intifada and advisor to Majlis speaker Ali Larijani; and Mohammad Javad Larijani, head of Iran's Human Rights Council and an associate of Khamenei. Other prominent figures speaking at the conference were Iranian nuclear officials, some of whom were involved until recently in conducting negotiations with the P5+1. They included Saeed Jalili, former Iranian nuclear chief and former representative in negotiations with the P5+1 and candidate in the 2013 presidential elections; Ali Asghar Soltaniyeh, former Iranian representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency and nuclear negotiating team member; and Hassan Abbasi, theoretician of the IRGC and head of the IRGC's Center for Doctrinal Affairs of National Security Without Borders, who has in the past spoken about the IRGC's readiness to strike at strategic U.S. and British targets.
Additional officials close to Khamenei who gave speeches at the conference were Alireza Panahian, who was appointed by Khamenei as head of Khamenei's think tank for Iran's universities and is a member of Khamenei's Amar Headquarters think tank. Others were Ayatollah Hosseini Qaemmaqami, Khamenei's representative at Tehran University, and Hassan Rahimpour Azghadi, member of the regime's Supreme Council of the Cultural Revolution.
Conference General Secretary Gholemreza Montazami, Conference International Affairs secretary Hamad Qashqavi, and Conference Technical Committee director Nader Talebzadeh are close to top regime officials, especially hardline ones, as can be seen in photos on their websites. Qashqavi's website also showed him with French antisemitic comedian Dieudonné Mbala Mbala, who is known, inter alia, for mocking the Holocaust and for popularizing the "quenelle" gesture that resembles a reverse Nazi salute.
Appendix I: Photos From "Curriculum Vitae" Of Hamad Qashqavi – With Comedian Dieudonné, Top Iranian Regime Officials
Qashqavi and Dieudonné; on left, in "quenelle"
Appendix II: Conference Participants
Conference participants from the U.S., according to the conference website, included founder of the U.S. anti-war Code Pink organization Medea Benjamin; former U.S. Representative Mark Siljander, who in 2012 was sentenced to a year in federal prison for accepting stolen funds on behalf of a charity with terrorism ties; Occupy Wall Street activist Caleb Maupin; Brooklyn-based activist and "caller to Islam" Cyrus McGoldrick; "social action/social justice minister" and Iranian Press TV columnist Rev. Randy Short, Dr. Gareth Porter, who, inter alia, writes for Al-Jazeera English and is described there as "an investigative journalist and historian specializing in U.S. national security policy"; and Dr. Kevin Barrett, author of Truth Jihad: My Epic Struggle Against the 9/11 Big Lie and Questioning the War on Terror: A Primer for Obama Voters and a columnist for Press TV; in addition to former U.S. citizen and U.S. Marine Kenneth Nichols O'Keefe, known for leading the human shield action to Iraq and participating in the 2010 Gaza flotilla.
Canadian and British participants included Anthony James Hall, "founding Coordinator and Professor of Globalization Studies at the University of Lethbridge in Alberta, Canada and a member of the 9/11 Truth movement" and Stephen Sizer, vicar of Christ Church in Surrey, England, co-author of the statement "Challenging Christian Zionism" and author of Christian Zionism: Road Map to Armageddon?
Participants from France included Thierry Meyssan, author of L'Effroyable Imposture (9/11: The Big Lie); antisemitic French cartoonist Joe LeCorbeau; Maria Poumier, activist close to Dieudonné; Olivier Lemoine and Thomas Werlet, heads of the neo-Nazi party Parti Solidaire Francais and also affiliated with the French "Parti antisioniste" of Dieudonne and Alain Soral; French-Iranian Friendship Association secretary Gilles Munier, who is close to Soral; and Raphael Berland, member of Thierry Metssan's Reseau Voltaire organization.
Also participating were Isabelle Praile, who was until recently vice-president of the Exécutif des musulmans de Belgique; Manuel Ochsenreiter, editor-in-chief of the German monthly newsmagazine ZUERST! and known for fighting "de-nazification" in Germany; Italians Prof. Claudio Mutti of Italy, an extremist antisemitic Muslim convert who in 1976 translated The Protocols of the Elders of Zion into Italian, Prof. Claudio Moffa, who according to the conference website "achieved international fame through revisionist statements, in particular through public denial of the Holocaust"; and antisemitic conspiracy theorist Maurizio Blondet, author of 11 settembre Colpo di Stato in U.S.; Spanish activist and former leader of the extreme-right Social Republican Movement Juan Antonio Aguilar, a member of the neo-Nazi Blood and Honor international network; Manuel Galiana-Ros, leader of Spain's extreme-right Democracia Nacional party; and Brazilian conspiracy theorist Pepe Escobar, who regularly contributes to Press TV, the pro-Putin Russian outlet RT, and Al-Jazeera.
 Scribd.com/doc/119868007/Hollywoodism-2nd-Conference, accessed October 8, 2014.
 Newhorizon.ir; for conference program see Newhorizon.ir/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=159&Itemid=139.
 NYTimes.com, October 30, 2005.
 Presstv.ir, September 30, 2014.
 See MEMRI The Internal Debate in Iran: How to Respond to Western Pressure Regarding Its Nuclear Program, The Internal Debate in Iran: How to Respond to Western Pressure Regarding Its Nuclear Program, June 17, 2004; MEMRI Inquiry & Analysis No. 377, Iran Determined to Continue Nuclear Program Despite International Pressures, July 23, 2007; MEMRI TV Clip No. 252, Iranian Revolutionary Guard Official in Tehran University Lecture (Part II):We Plan To Target US Nuclear Warheads on US Soil; Should Take Over England, May 23, 2004.
 Ijtihad.ir/ScholarDetailsen.aspx?itemid=308, accessed October 8, 2014.
 See MEMRI Inquiry and Analysis No. 1055, French Comedian Dieudonné Promotes New Humor-Based Antisemitic Subculture, January 16, 2014; for more on Dieudonné,, see MEMRI Special Announcement No. 277, From The MEMRI Archives: Reports On French Muslim Antisemitic Comedian Dieudonne, January 3, 2014.
 Vtncmn.com/documents/hamed-g-cv.pdf, accessed October 8, 2014.
 Associated Press, January 11, 2012.
 Calebmaupin.info/biography/, accessed October 8, 2014.
 Brothercyrus.tumblr.com/work, accessed October 8, 2014.
 Facebook.com/Kenneth.OKeefe/info, accessed October 13, 2014.
 According to the State Office for the protection of the Bade-Wurtemberg Constitution.