In stunning contrast to his Holocaust denying predecessor, Iran’s new President Hassan Rouhani on Wednesday sent well wishes to the Jewish people on the occasion of Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year, which begins at sundown.
“As the sun is about to set here in Tehran, I wish all Jews, especially Iranian Jews, a blessed Rosh Hashanah,” Rouhani wrote on his English language Twitter account, (@hassanrouhani), including a photo, above, of a man praying at an Iranian synagogue.
Rouhani’s well wishes to the Jewish people comes as the Iranian mission at the United Nations confirmed to Al-Monitor that he will come to New York later this month to address the United Nations General Assembly.
Rouhani is scheduled to address the General Assembly the afternoon of September 24th, the same day that US President Obama will address the body in the morning.
It also comes as Rouhani and Iranian foreign minister Javad Zarif have sent multiple messages condemning the use of chemical weapons in Syria, Iran’s ally, while not saying explicitly they believe it was done by the Assad regime, and while urging against U.S.-led action. Foreign Iranian President Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani, however, is reported to have accused the Syrian government of gassing its own people at a lecture last week, allegedly recorded on video, even as other reports say his office had denied the comment.
“We strongly condemn any use of chemical weapons anywhere, but must be careful not to jump to conclusions before[ the] facts [are] clear,” Rouhani wrote on Twitter August 29, followed by a “Syria” and “prudence” hash-tag.
Obama’s national security chiefs have been testifying on the Hill this week as the Senate and House consider whether to grant Obama an authorization to use military force to deter the use of chemical weapons in Syria.
By Al Monitor
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