Daily Israel Report

PM Unimpressed with Iranian Greetings

Iranian leaders convey holiday greetings to Jews, but Netanyahu says this is a distraction.
By Arutz Sheva
First Publish: 9/7/2013, 9:44 PM

Iran's  new President Hassan Rohani
Iran's  new President Hassan Rohani
AFP file

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Saturday evening that he is not impressed with the Rosh Hashana greetings that Iranian leaders conveyed to the Jewish people.

"The greetings come out of the mouth of a regime that only last week threatened to destroy the state of Israel," Netanyahu said. "The Iranian regime will be judged solely on its deeds, not its greetings, whose only purpose it to distract attention from the fact that even after the elections it continues to enrich uranium and build a plutonium reactor with the aim of acquiring a nuclear weapon which will threaten Israel and the whole world."

Just before Rosh Hashana, a tweet supposedly from Iranian President Hasan Rohani said: "As the sun is about to set here in Tehran, I wish all of the Jews, and especially those in Iran, a happy Rosh Hashana." However, Rohani's advisor was later quoted by Iran's official Fars agency as saying that Rohani does not have a Twitter account.

Iran's army chief of staff General Hassan Firouzabadi was quoted by the official IRNA news agency on Thursday as saying that a US-led military strike against Tehran's ally, Syria, would leave Israel "in flames."

In his first remarks since Rohani tasked him with taking over Iran's nuclear talks with world powers, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Tehran wants to calm fears over its atomic program.

"Allaying international concerns is in our interest because atomic weapons do not form part of the Islamic republic's policies," Zarif said on Friday.

Zarif, a US-educated former ambassador to the United Nations, said on Facebook this week that Tehran condemns the World War II Nazi massacre of the Jews. This statement was in stark contrast to repeated Holocaust denials by former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

In an interview published on his Facebook page, he confirmed reports he had tweeted best wishes for the Jewish new year in an exchange with Christine Pelosi, daughter of the Democratic leader in the US House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi.