Rouhani 'misquoted' on Israel remarks

2013-08-02 21:06
Iranian president-elect Hassan Rouhani (C) takes part in a parade marking Al-Quds (Jerusalem) International Day in Tehran. (Atta Kenare, AFP)

Iranian president-elect Hassan Rouhani (C) takes part in a parade marking Al-Quds (Jerusalem) International Day in Tehran. (Atta Kenare, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Dubai - Two days before his inauguration as Iran's new president, Hassan Rouhani said on Friday that Israeli occupation of Palestinian land had inflicted a "wound" on the Muslim world, according to a segment of his remarks broadcast on Iran's state-run Press TV.

An earlier report by Iran's student news agency ISNA had quoted Rouhani as saying: "The Zionist regime is a wound that has sat on the body of the Muslim world for years and needs to be removed."

That version echoed the fiercely anti-Israeli language of outgoing President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, but was swiftly repudiated by Iranian state media, which said unidentified news agencies had distorted Rouhani's remarks.

Press TV then broadcast an excerpt from an exchange between Rouhani and journalists at a rally to mark Iran's annual Al Qods Day in support of the Palestinians.

"After all, in our region there's been a wound for years on the body of the Muslim world under the shadow of the occupation of the holy land of Palestine and the beloved al-Quds [Jerusalem]," Rouhani said in the segment.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu seized on ISNA's version of Rouhani's comments, saying they showed the reputedly moderate Iranian cleric was as hostile to Israel as Ahmadinejad, whose denial of the Holocaust and description of Israel as a "cancerous tumour" prompted international condemnation.

Pragmatic president

The United States and its allies suspect Iran of seeking a nuclear weapons capability. Tehran says its nuclear programme is purely for peaceful purposes, but Israel regards it as a threat to its existence and refuses to rule out military action.

With a more pragmatic president in Iran, Western countries may see a better chance for diplomacy to lead to a deal to curb Tehran's uranium enrichment programme and avoid any conflict.

"The true face of Rouhani has been revealed sooner than expected. Even if they hurry to deny his words - this is what the man thinks and this is the Iranian regime's plan of action," Netanyahu said in a statement.

Rouhani's words "must awaken the world from the illusion in which part of it is placed since the Iranian elections", he declared, saying Iran still aimed "to acquire nuclear weapons in order to threaten Israel, the Middle East and world peace".

"A nation that threatens to destroy the state of Israel must not be allowed to have weapons of mass destruction," he said.

Ahmadinejad addressed Israel on Quds Day in his last speech as president. "You planted wind in our region and you will reap the storm. I swear to God that a ferocious storm is coming and it will uproot the Zionist entity," Iran's state news agency IRNA quoted him as saying.

Read more on:    mahmoud ahmadinejad  |  hassan rouhani  |  benjamin netanyahu  |  israel  |  iran  |  iran nuclear programme

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.