Lebanese journalist Nadim Koteich said in a September 19, 2022 show on Sky News Arabia (UAE) that the Iranian regime exists in an imaginary “parallel” universe and that it ignores facts that it considers to be inconvenient. He explained that this is why it is not possible to come to an understanding with the regime. Koteich gave the example of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi’s recent appearance on 60 Minutes in which he questioned the validity of historical claims surrounding the Holocaust. Koteich also gave the example of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, an Iranian woman who recently died after being arrested and beaten by Iran’s morality police for wearing her hijab “improperly,” and he said that despite photos of Amini in a coma and despite the medical reports clearly indicating that she died as a result of being beaten, the Iranian regime insists that the “rumors” about her death are “fabrications” made up by foreign embassies and intelligence services.
Nadim Koteich: "Whether in domestic or foreign matters, whether in international relations or in relations with the Iranian people, Iran seems to live in a parallel universe, a virtual reality that exists only in the mind and imagination of the [Iranian] regime."
Lesley Stahl: "Do you believe the Holocaust happened, that 6 million Jews were slaughtered?"
Ebrahim Raisi: "Look, historical events should be investigated by researchers and historians. There are some signs that [the Holocaust] happened. If so, they should allow it to be investigated and researched."
Nadim Koteich: "Let me say that doubting the Holocaust is less than what the former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said. There was some progress. Ahmadinejad categorically denied that the Holocaust had ever happened. Today Iran says: There are some signs, we can smell some holocaust somewhere, but it requires more research and investigation. This shows the lack of seriousness in Iran’s position on a very sensitive and central issue in international relations. It either happened or it didn’t.
"This is genuine hypocrisy. They invent alternative worlds and virtual facts, always with regard to issues that are not convenient for Iran. They tell you: ' Yes, that’s right, but we have to investigate,' or ' Yes, but things are not always 100% like what they seem to be,' or ' There is a hidden difficulty somewhere that we have to examine.' The only thing that is hidden is the truth. The only thing that they want to hide is the truth, just like what happened with the Iranian citizen that was killed a few days ago, because of the hijab.
"As in similar cases, the regime and its mouthpieces say that what happened [to Mahsa Amini] did not really happen, and that this is nothing but propaganda, rumors, and fabrications by foreign embassies and the enemies of the regime.
"Here lies the danger in the Iranian political mindset. For someone who dares to deny the Holocaust, it is very easy to claim that the killing of [Iranian] civilians never happened, and that these are all fabrications by the enemies of the regime."