Iran is staging an international cartoon contest on the Holocaust, saying it is not a denial of the Nazi massacre.

Masuod Shojai-Tabatabai, the secretary of the contest, said Saturday, that they have no interest in denying the Holocaust or "ridiculing its victims."

He added that the world was witnessing a similar massacre "by the Zionist regime in Gaza and Palestine."

Some 150 works from 50 countries are on display. The works mainly criticize what they consider the use of the Holocaust by Israel to distract from the Palestine issue.

Cartoonists from various countries, including France, are competing in the contest which is organized by non-governmental bodies with strong support from Iran's hard-liners.

Some $50,000 in prize money will go to 16 finalists, with the top winner receiving $12,000.