Recognize the man in the screencap? Ahmadinejad gets all the press but this turd is probably the second-most powerful man in Iran right now behind only Khamenei himself, which stands to reason given that he’s in line to succeed him. It’s Akbar Rafsanjani, former president of the Islamic Republic and current head of the Assembly of Experts, Iran’s answer to the college of cardinals. Ahmadinejad defeated him for the presidency in 2005 in a contest between hardline nut and “pragmatist” nut, but since then the two men’s fortunes have reversed (have they ever).

Here he is displaying a little of that trademark “pragmatism,” riding a favorite hobbyhorse of the mullahs by pronouncing on their most notorious historical obsession. He’s careful not to say precisely what it is that Hitler’s responsible for, only that it was at least in part a reaction to “Zionism.” That dovetails nicely with the line taken in Iran’s new Holocaust miniseries as well as the disjunctive rhetoric often directed by Iranian leaders at Jews, on the one hand, whom they profess to love, and towards “Zionists” on the other, for whom no punishment is too harsh or fate too gruesome. I know I beat this horse a lot but given the left’s bleating about unfair “demonization” of these fascist cretins it can’t be stated often enough: note how closely his argument tracks the most vintage, vicious anti-semitic propaganda about Jewish cabals, with the important substitution of Zionists, on whom it’s safe to wish the worst sort of atrocities, for Jews generally. In fact, I’m hesitant to even call what he’s making here an argument. Hitler expelled the Jews from Europe because the Zionists … wanted the Jews to leave Europe? Chew on that for awhile and let me know what you come up with. Click the image to watch.

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