Ignorance and evasion

This, from Norman Geras, is quite wonderful:

Unknown knowns in Iran

It’s been good to note the progress made by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani as measured against his predecessor Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in the matter of Holocaust awareness. When it was put to Rouhani that Ahmadinejad had said the Holocaust was a myth, and how did he feel about this, his reply was: ‘I’m not a historian. I’m a politician.’ From this you might want to infer that non-historians in Iran, and the politicians among them in particular, don’t consider themselves able to say whether or not the institution of slavery ever existed in the United States of America, or whether there’s a monarchy in Britain, or whether chemical weapons were used against Iran during the Iran-Iraq war, or whether indeed there was an Iran-Iraq war and whether Andy Murray won Wimbledon in 2013.

This represents not only progress from Holocaust-denial to the much more salubrious Holocaust-evasion but also a giant step towards national state-sponsored ignorance for the non-historian population of Iran, unable to know anything without doing first-hand historical research.

In other words, Rouhani – when cornered – bleated: “I know nothing!” I am prepared to take that at face value. Rouhani knows nothing about truth.