The U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has responded to a series of recent tweets written by the Islamic Republic Supreme Leader in support of a French Holocaust denier.
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei began the thread on Monday by saying, "In his book, Roger Garaudy, the French philosopher, expressed doubts about the number of Holocaust victims. The French government not only banned his book but also brought Garaudy to trial. These are the claimants of advocating freedom of speech."
Attached to the first tweet was a photo of Garaudy, with a caption saying, "Anniversary of Roger Garaudy's conviction at a court in Paris for questioning the Holocaust."
Responding to the thread Pompeo tweeted Wednesday, December 18, "Any human being with a shred of decency would've been repulsed at the thought of denying the genocide of 6,000,000 Jews and the murder of 11,000,000 innocent people during the Holocaust. For @khamenei_ir, it's just another day on the throne. #NeverAgain.
Garaudy, a controversial philosopher and author who died in 2012, published a book in 1996 claiming that Nazi war crimes were fabricated to justify the existence of Israel.
Because of the claim, French courts banned any further publication of the book and, in February 1998, fined him 240,000 French francs. He was also sentenced to a suspended jail sentence.
Roger Garaudy appealed to the European Court of Human Rights, but his appeal was rejected as inadmissible.
Garaudy had converted to Islam in 1982 after marrying a Palestinian woman.
In his tweets, Khamenei has praised Garaudy's "courage," maintaining that his fight against the "Zionists" was a "Divine duty."
The Lebanese Hezbollah leader, Sheik Hassan Nasrallah and former Libyan dictator Muammar Ghaddafi also praised Garaudy.
Roger Garaudy died in Paris on June 13, 2012, aged 98.