Iranian president wishes Jews ‘a blessed Rosh Hashanah’ via tweet

By Jessica Huseman

In a huge shift from his predecessor, Iran’s new president took to Twitter to wish “all Jews, especially Iranian Jews, a blessed Rosh Hashanah.” I’m serious.

Hassan Rouhani Jewish Tweet

Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish celebration of the new year, began today at Sundown, as Rouhani mentioned in his tweet this morning. The image he included is reportedly from a synagogue in Tehran — of which there are few. There are now fewer than 10,000 Jews left in Iran, though the country used to be home to one of the largest Jewish populations in the Middle East.

The dwindling numbers aren’t surprising given the country’s tendency towards vitriolic rhetoric towards the Jews — like, for instance, the Holocaust-denying former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad who threatened to “wipe Israel off the face of the earth.”

During his election, Rouhani called his predecessor’s insults of Jews “hate rhetoric” and has taken a noticeably softer approach in his own language since being elected. International onlookers are hoping this soft approach continues into his foreign policy approach, as this tweet came just hours after Rouhani confirmed — also via Twitter — that he will be traveling to New York later this month to participate in a disarmament meeting:

His Twitter account seems to be a hub for his moderate thoughts. On Monday, for instance, he professed his dedication to women’s rights, even hastagging #GenderEquality.

Hassan Rouhani Women's Tweet


His Twitter account may be getting the international community pretty excited, but don’t forget that the Ayotollah of Iran, Ali Khamenei, is the one that carries most of the power when it comes to issues that involve religion, women and even the nukes. Khamenei is the highest religious official in the country and also maintains complete control of the nuclear program, meaning that progress may still be a pipe dream.

While the president of the country may be leaning moderate, the Supreme Leader is still pretty set on the opposite of #GenderEquality and the opposite of disarmament. In 2009, he stated publicly that “the Zionist cancer is gnawing into the lives of Islamic nations.” So, you can take a wild guess at his position on Jews in Iran.

Posted by on September 4, 2013. Filed under Recent News,Religion,Top News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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