In his first appearance as president at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, Barack Obama paid his respects to all of the genocide victims at the museum's Hall of Remembrance before addressing dozens of survivors, dignitaries and members of congress. Obama and survivor Elie Wiesel paused on their way in, bowed their heads and lit several candles for a moment of silence and remembrance. Wiesel called upon the international community to not let history repeat itself, pointing specifically to Iran.
Holocaust Survivor Elie Wiesel: "How is it that the holocaust number one denier Ahmadinejad is still a president? He who threatens to use nuclear weapon, to use nuclear weapons, to destroy the Jewish state."
Obama spoke of the legacy that ought to be left to future generations.
US President Barack Obama: "We must tell our children but more than that we must teach them because remembrance without resolve is a hollow gesture, awareness without action changes nothing, in a sense 'never again' challenge to as all to pause and to look within. For the Holocaust may have reached its barbaric climax at Treblinka, Auschwitz, Belzec, but started in the hearts of ordinary men and women, and we have seen it again."
Obama used the occasion to unveil an executive order aimed at punishing those helping Iran to acquire technology to target dissidents using social media tools, and also addressed security threats towards Israel.
US President Barack Obama: "When international forums single out Israel with unfair resolutions we vote against them, when attempts are made to delegitimize the state of Israel we oppose them, when faced with regime that threatens global security and denies the holocaust and threatens to destroy Israel the United States will do everything in its power to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon."
The executive order calls for freezes to US assets linked to people found to have aided satellite, computer and phone network monitoring in Iran.