It was no doubt refreshing for Western audiences to hear Iran's president acknowledge the Holocaust, but it's set off a firestorm back in Iran, the New York Times reports. In a CNN interview Tuesday, Hasan Rouhani said historians should judge the "dimensions of the Holocaust" but that any crime, "including the crime the Nazis committed towards the Jews, as well as non-Jewish people, is reprehensible and condemnable." But Iran's semiofficial Fars News Agency called CNN's translation "totally inaccurate and untrustworthy," accusing it of inserting the words "Holocaust" and "reprehensible." CNN says it used a translator provided by the Iranian government.
Rouhani may have been guarding against similar backlash by skipping a handshake with President Obama. While one reform-minded newspaper lamented that action, a conservative one was horrified at the idea of "the clean hands of our president" being "in the bloody clench" of Obama's. That's not to say the peace offensive is off; Iran's top diplomat will meet with foreign ministers from all of the permanent Security Council members today, the AP reports. (Read more Hassan Rouhani stories.)