- The Washington Times - Friday, December 18, 2015

A Tehran-sponsored international drawing contest is offering $50,000 for the best cartoon on the Holocaust, organizers said Wednesday.

Organizers of the 11th Tehran International Cartoon Biennial, sponsored by the Tehran municipality, said the June 2016 contest in Mashhad will feature cartoonists from 50 countries, according to Iran’s semiofficial IRNA news agency.

The top three runners-up will receive cash prizes of $12,000, $8,000 and $5,000 for their cartoons depicting the Holocaust, the Washington Free Beacon reported.

“We do not mean to approve or deny the Holocaust, however, the main question is that why is there no permission to talk about the Holocaust despite their (the West) belief in freedom of speech” the secretary of the biennial, Masud Shojai-Tabatabai, was quoted as saying.

“Moreover, why should the oppressed people of Palestine pay the price for the Holocaust? We are also worried about the contemporary holocausts in which a great number of women and children are being killed in Iraq, Yemen and Syria,” he added.

A side contest focusing on the portrait of Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has also been arranged, IRNA reported.

In May, a similar competition took place in Iran at the Second International Holocaust Cartoon Contest, The Jerusalem Post reported.

The website for Iranian House of Cartoon, which hosts the biennial, says its goal is to work toward “the recognition, upgrading and propagation of cartoon and caricature in Iran and World, so as to encourage and support Iranian and Foreign cartoonists and fans and introduce their works both in Iran and the world.”

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