Wednesday, September 03, 2014


Iran

Reported Rohani Comments On Israel Spark Anger

Iranians March To Mark Anti-Israel Quds Dayi
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August 02, 2013
Iranians marched in the streets of Tehran and other cities on August 2 in honor of Quds Day (Jerusalem Day), marked on the last Friday of the holy month of Ramadan. President-elect Hassan Rohani, who is due to take office on August 4, was among the marchers in Tehran. Quds Day was created by Iran's Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in 1979 to show support for Palestinians and opposition to the state of Israel. (Reuters)

WATCH: Iranians march to mark the anti-Israel Quds Day

By RFE/RL
Iranian news agencies have stirred up controversy and confusion regarding remarks Iran's president-elect, Hassan Rohani, made about Israel.

The ISNA and Mehr news agencies quoted Rohani on August 2 as saying that "The Zionist regime has been a wound on the body of the Islamic world for years and the wound should be removed."

However, in a video of his comments to journalists at an International Quds (Jerusalem) Day events in Tehran, Rohani did not use the phrase "the wound should be removed" or the term "Zionist regime."

Instead, his words should be translated as: "There is an old wound on the body of our region, under the shadow of the occupation of the holy lands of Palestine and Quds,"

When that phrase was initially reported, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reacted immediately, saying Rohani's comments had shown the president-elect’s "true face."

In a statement, Netanyahu said, "The president has changed in Iran but the goal of the regime remains to build a nuclear weapon to threaten Israel, the Middle East and peace and security throughout the world."

Iran's state-run Press TV later said "news agencies distorted" Rohani's comments.

Iranian news agencies amended the wording of their original stories to reflect Rohani’s comments in the video.

Iran's outgoing president, Mahmud Ahmadinejad, during a separate rally on August 2 made threatening comments about Israel.

Ahmadinejad said, "I will inform you with God as my witness, a devastating storm is on the way that will uproot the basis of Zionism."

Quds Day, an annual show of solidarity with the Palestinian people, is marked in Iran with huge rallies, the burning of the U.S. and Israeli flags, and predictions of Israel's demise.

Iran's state television broadcast video of hundreds of thousands of people attending rallies across the country. Quds Day rallies are held in other Muslim countries as well.

Based on reporting by Reuters, RFE/RL, AP, ISNA, and Timesofisrael.com

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