Hopeful Signs? UPDATE #2: Not a Hoax

The optimist in me says “yes.” The cynic says, “public relations ploy.” I try paying more attention to the optimist.

In any case, it’s welcome. From the President of Iran:

It’s worthwhile remembering that the Iranian people (particularly the young) tend to have positive feelings towards America, by and large. (They tend to despise the English, however.) Maybe if we stopped with the Middle East meddling and they throttled back on the crazy and the Jew-hating and the terror-exportation, some kind of peace could be achieved. I’ll take this message as a sign of hope.

UPDATE: Reader “Dale” sent this link saying it looks like a hoax:

Not only were the blessings not a diplomatic signal, they weren’t even really blessings from Rouhani himself, according to Iran’s official Fars News Agency.

Mohammad Reza Sadeq, an adviser to Rouhani, said the Iranian president doesn’t even have a Twitter account (although he kept referring to it as “tweeter”), let alone that he was behind the eyebrow-raising tweet purportedly from the leader of a country that wishes for Israel’s destruction.

UPDATE #2: Joanne McPortland tells me “Christiane Amanpour claims she just interviewed him. No hoax.”

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  • Dale

    I don’t know, but an adviser to Hassan Rouhani is saying that the tweet is a hoax.

    http://www.ibtimes.com/no-hassan-rouhani-didnt-wish-jews-blessed-rosh-hashanah-iranian-president-has-no-tweeter-account

  • Dale

    Whether President Rouhani sent the tweet, or whether someone on his presidential campaign team sent it, seems to be an open question. Christiane Amanpour didn’t speak with Rouhani, but with Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif. He is the one who confirmed that the tweet came from the president.
    https://www.facebook.com/amanpourabc?group_id=0

    According to al-Arabiya, President Rouhani has not confirmed or denied the tweet. So we are in a little bit of a murky area, which may be what Rouhani needs for domestic political reasons:

    Quoting from a Washington Post article
    “Tehran-based reporter Amin Khorami, Al-Monitor’s Arash Karami
    and others say that the account is actually run by the media office of
    Rouhani’s presidential campaign team. The campaign has been over for a
    couple of months, so it raises the question of whether the people
    running the account continue tweeting in an official or unofficial
    capacity and whether or not they coordinate directly with Rouhani or his
    office. The prevailing speculation among Iran-watchers is that Rouhani
    may be keeping the account semi-official to inure him from criticism by
    internal hard-liners while allowing continued gestures of good faith
    toward the West.”

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2013/09/04/irans-president-just-wished-all-jews-a-happy-rosh-hashanah-on-twitter/

    Since the foreign minister also sent out a tweet similar to the tweet on Rouhani’s account, I think the two tweets are a very hopeful sign of change.

  • Dale

    I apologize if I am beating a dead horse, but a UK newspaper, the Daily Telegraph, offers an explanation of yesterday’s denial of the tweet which was published by the Fars news agency.

    It seems Fars is closely affiliated with the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, which has a hardline position on Israel. The denial which Fars published may reflect pressure for Rouhani to step away from his moderate position regarding Israel.

    And as further support of the positive direction of the Rouhani administration, the foreign minister disavowed Ahmadinejad’s denial of the Holocaust. “”Iran never denied it. The man who was perceived to be denying it is now gone. Happy New Year.”


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