Surprise: Iran Leader Sends Jews Holiday Wishes
Rouhani tweets about 'blessed Rosh Hoshanah'
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Sep 4, 2013 6:47 PM CDT
Iran President Hasan Rouhani.   (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)

(Newser) – The old Iranian president called the Holocaust a hoax. The new one? He's reportedly tweeting wishes of goodwill to Jews as Rosh Hashanah begins, reports BuzzFeed: "As the sun is about to set here in #Tehran I wish all Jews, especially Iranian Jews, a blessed Rosh Hashanah," says the tweet from Hasan Rouhani, referring to the Jewish new year. Rouhani is universally described as far more moderate than his predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Assuming the tweet is legit—it may have come from his media office rather than the man himself—Rouhani seems "to be offering a very small gesture of goodwill at least partially toward Israelis, who can usually expect nothing but hateful rhetoric from Iranian rulers," writes Max Fisher at the Washington Post. "It’s not exactly a unilateral declaration of peace—tomorrow, Iran will probably still support Hezbollah—but it’s yet another hint of Rouhani’s efforts to dramatically soften Iranian foreign policy and rhetoric."

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Showing 3 of 41 comments
Sep 5, 2013 8:52 PM CDT
I know it it highly cliche but I'm going to evoke it here in the most relevant application I can ever think. "Keep your friends close, your enemies closer." Iran needs a tempered Israel right now. Iran is finishing up its first few nuclear tipped regional ballistic Ashura missiles. It needs calm until it is able to get a launch on Tel Aviv. Israel on the other hand does not plan to go "gentile" into that great night. When Israel detects the launch of same, they have plans in place to first try to shoot it down and second launch an immediate strike of their own on Tehran with as few as three neutron bombs. So any nicety on Iran's part is baby babel.
Sep 5, 2013 7:19 PM CDT
good for him if true!
Sep 5, 2013 3:20 PM CDT
Happy Halloween to the new Iranian leader - he wears a good costume.