Accessibility links

Breaking News

Reported Rohani Comments On Israel Spark Anger


Iranians March To Mark Anti-Israel Quds Day
please wait

No media source currently available

0:00 0:00:42 0:00

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

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
  • 16x9 Image


    RFE/RL journalists report the news in 27 languages in 23 countries where a free press is banned by the government or not fully established. We provide what many people cannot get locally: uncensored news, responsible discussion, and open debate.