Rouhani’s Rosh Hashana greeting on twitter (below) has captured the attention of the Israeli press. It would be an understatement to say that it was a surprise – a pleasant one.
So much so that in its report about the message, Israel’s channel 2 website asked if the end of times has arrived!
Meanwhile Yediot Ahronot described the message as “another sign of moderation from Hassan Rouhani“.
What does this mean?
In my opinion, this statement is a clear sign that there is a new man in town, and he wants to put an end to the antisemitic narrative which came from Iran’s presidential office, formerly occupied by Mahmoud Ahmadinjejad.
However I don’t think it can interpreted as a sign of policy change from the Iranian government towards Israel. The person who is in charge of that policy is Ayatollah Khamenei and not Rouhani.
What impact will it have?
It is likely to have a positive impact, albeit a limited one on the way the Iranian regime is seen in Israel. We could even see Israeli politicians such as President Peres welcoming this message.
What is more important to many Israelis are the policies which Iran will adopt at its next nuclear negotiations meeting with the P5+1, and Khamenei’s policies and statements towards Israel.
Update: Mohammad Reza Sadegh who is Rouhani’s adviser has denied that Rouhani issued such a message. According to him Rouhani does not even have an official twitter account.
Update 2: Iran’s Foreign Minister has issued a Rosh Hashana message on his twitter account (which as confirmed by Christian Amanpour is his)