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

Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, daughter of Congress party chief Sonia Gandhi, adjusts her flower garlands as she campaigns for her mother during an election meeting at Rae Bareli in Uttar Pradesh April 22, 2014. REUTERS/Pawan Kumar

Election 2014

More than 814 million people — a number larger than the population of Europe — are eligible to vote in the world’s biggest democratic exercise.  Full Coverage 

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:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Ukraine Crisis

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Chequered Past

Chequered Past

From God.com to photography, Korea ferry founder has diverse interests .  Full Article 

Palestine Peace Talks

Palestine Peace Talks

Israel suspends peace talks after Palestinian unity bid.  Full Article 

Lost Plane Mystery

Lost Plane Mystery

Australia rules out link between debris and Malaysian plane.  Full Article 

Obama's Japan Visit

Obama's Japan Visit

Obama reaffirms commitment to Japan on tour of Asia allies.  Full Article 

S. Sudan Crisis

S. Sudan Crisis

U.N. Security Council asks for inquiry into South Sudan massacre.  Full Article 

Papal Saints

Papal Saints

Jews hail new papal saints who revolutionised ties with Catholics.  Full Article 

Fighting Pollution

Fighting Pollution

China to impose tougher penalties on polluters in new environmental law.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

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