Netanyahu unimpressed by Iranian greetings for Jewish New Year

JERUSALEM Sun Sep 8, 2013 12:27pm IST

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gestures during his speech at the inauguration ceremony of a hi-tech industry park in the southern city of Beersheba September 3, 2013. REUTERS/Amir Cohen

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gestures during his speech at the inauguration ceremony of a hi-tech industry park in the southern city of Beersheba September 3, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Amir Cohen

Related Topics

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".Ÿ

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)

FILED UNDER:

Sony Cyber Attack

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Exit Polls

Exit Polls

BJP unlikely to form Jammu & Kashmir govt - polls.  Full Article 

Forceful Conversions

Forceful Conversions

BJP distances itself from religious conversions.  Full Article 

Photo

Fund Raising

Flipkart raises $700 million in fresh funding.   Full Article 

Reforms Push

Reforms Push

Modi may order insurance, coal reforms if vote delayed - officials.  Full Article 

Economic Pulse

Economic Pulse

Crank up public spending to revive growth - chief economic adviser.  Full Article 

Reuters Exclusive

Reuters Exclusive

India looks to sway Americans with nuclear power insurance plan  Full Article 

Down Under

Down Under

Magic Johnson inspires Australia to second test win.  Full Article 

Going International

Going International

Bollywood’s Priyanka Chopra sets sights on American TV.  Full Article 

India This Week

India This Week

Some of our best photos from this week.   Full Coverage 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device   Full Coverage