Netanyahu unimpressed by Iranian greetings for Jewish New Year
JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday dismissed the significance of reports that the new Iranian president and his foreign minister had both issued greetings to mark the Jewish New Year.
Twitter messages that appeared to have been issued by newly-elected Hassan Rouhani and Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, wishing Jews a good Rosh Hashanah - the Jewish New Year, which was celebrated this week - made headlines in Israel. L6N0H228X
They were a change in tone from Rouhani's predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who left office last month and regularly use to rile Israel by calling for the destruction of the "Zionist entity".
Netanyahu said in a statement he was "not impressed", and that the Iranian regime "will be judged only by its actions and not by greetings" whose purpose, he said, was to deflect attention from its nuclear programme.
He called on the international community to strengthen sanctions on Iran meant to curb its nuclear activities.
Relations between the two countries have been dire for decades. Israel says all its options are on the table in preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons that could one day jeopardize the survival of the Jewish state.
Iran denies it wants nuclear weapons and says its nuclear programme is for civilian purposes.
Rouhani's election in June has encouraged speculation that Tehran may be taking a more conciliatory approach to foreign affairs, though the president's power is heavily circumscribed by the clerical hierarchy.
(Reporting by Ari Rabinovitch; editing by Andrew Roche)
- Tweet this
- Share this
- Digg this
- Two killed, four wounded in Washington state school shooting
- Google's Pichai to oversee major products and services
- Wall St. finally turning on Amazon as Bezos magic fades
- Reuters Poll - India's growth pace to pick up as reforms draw investment
- WHO says Ebola vaccine plans accelerating as trials advance
New York and New Jersey will automatically quarantine medical workers returning from Ebola-hit West African countries and the U.S. government is considering the same step after a doctor who treated patients in Guinea came back infected, officials said. Full Article | Slideshow
Kurds reject Erdogan report of deal with Syrian rebels to aid besieged Kobani. Full Article