Reader Comments

A subsequent Twitter post from Zarif read: "Iran never denied it

by Kendrick Hannon (2019-08-03)


TEHRAN, Iran Officials in Iran's presidency denied that the country's new president had a Twitter account, following a positive message to Jews that appeared to have been posted in the leader's name. At the same time, Iran's foreign minister confirmed the authenticity of a similarly friendly message appearing on his own account.



In an interview published on Iranian website tasnimnews.com late Thursday, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said he tweeted "Happy Rosh Hashana" because Iran has a small Jewish community.



Happy Rosh Hashanah



The message is likely a small diplomatic step toward easing the hostilities between Iran and 부산출장안마 Israel, even as as the two countries view each other with suspicion and contempt over Iran's nuclear program and former hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's denials that the Holocaust took place.



A subsequent Twitter post from Zarif read: "Iran never denied it. The man who perceived to be denying it is now gone. Happy New Year." It came after an account attributed to Christine Pelosi, daughter of U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, replied to Zarif's Rosh Hashana tweet with: "The New Year would be even sweeter if you would end Iran's Holocaust denial, sir."



In an interview with the website, Zarif said Iran would not let Israel use the Holocaust "to cover up their crimes."



"We never were against Jews. We oppose Zionists who are a minority," the foreign minister was quoted as saying. "We have condemned killing of Jews by Nazis as we condemn (the) killing and crackdown on Palestinians by Zionists."



The "Happy Rosh Hashana" message, celebrating the Jewish New Year, likely won't dramatically shift international relations between Iran and Israel. Iran does not recognize Israel and supports militant groups like Lebanese Hezbollah and Palestinian Hamas. The message does come, however, as President Hasan Rouhani, a moderate, slowly takes control of the country while trying to strike a more reconciliatory tone after Ahmadinejad's turbulent years in office. Ahmadinejad's anti-Israel remarks also prompted repeated international outcry - especially in the West.



The West suspects Iran's nuclear program has a military dimension. Iran denies the charge, saying its nuclear activities have peaceful purposes like power generation and cancer treatment. On Thursday, Rouhani put the country's foreign ministry in charge of nuclear talks with world powers. Previously, Iran's top security body was in charge of the talks.