Mohammad Ali Ramin, who is said to have shaped the views of Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad on the Holocaust, has been appointed
deputy culture minister for media affairs. Ahmadinejad has called the Holocaust a "myth."
Ramin's appointment was announced on November 1 by Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance Mohammad Hoseini.
Ramin is currently the secretary-general of the Tehran-based World Holocaust Foundation, which was established at an international conference reviewing the Holocaust in Tehran in 2006. A number of controversial figures, including former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke, attended the conference, which was strongly condemned by Western countries.
Ramin, who reportedly lived in Germany for a number of years, was quoted as saying in a 2006 interview with the "Baztab" website that Adolf Hitler was Jewish and that Hitler's policies were aimed at bringing about the establishment of a Jewish state.
In another interview with the "Shahrvand" publication, Ramin said that he has never denied nor confirmed the Holocaust. "My slogan is: allow the claim of the Holocaust to be studied," he said.
Ramin also said that he hopes that one day when "Europeans will guarantee freedom of expression," the headquarters of his foundation will be transferred to Berlin.
Reformist journalist Serajedin Mirdamadi, who is currently in France, told RFE/RL's Radio Farda that Ramin's appointment as deputy culture minister is "very bad news" for the press and media in Iran.
-- Golnaz Esfandiari