Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif.
Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos. Photo by AP
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Seventy Iranian lawmakers have signed a letter asking Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif to explain recent comments on German television, in which he indicated Iran’s willingness to recognize Israel and condemned the Holocaust, semi-official Press TV reported on Saturday.

“What is the reason for the passivity in your views about the issue of the illegitimate Israeli regime and the Holocaust,” the letter asked.

“The question has been sent to the Foreign Ministry and it will be reviewed in the first session of the National Security [and Foreign Policy] Committee of the Majlis,” Iranian lawmaker Mohammad Javad Karimi Qoddousi told Press TV.

In the interview with Deutsche Welle, Germany's international broadcaster, Zarif reportedly described the Holocaust as an event that was “tragically cruel and should not happen again.” He said, “We have nothing against the Jews. We do not feel threatened by anyone.”

According to Deutsche Welle's translation, Zarif then said, “After the problem with the Palestinians is resolved, the conditions that will enable recognition of the State of Israel will be established.”

Zarif later challenged the accuracy of the translation.

Ghasem Jafari, a member of the Principalist faction in the parliament, said, “Zarif’s remarks are inconsistent with the principles upheld by the system, since Imam Khomeini (RA) believed that the Zionist regime was a malign tumor and the Leader believed it as ‘bastard.’ The Islamic Republic has expended great sums so that the Zionist regime would not be recognized.”