Iran dismisses Peres's offer to meet with Rouhani

Foreign ministry spokeswoman says proposal is aimed at helping Israel out of global isolation, adds will never recognize Jewish state.

December 10, 2013 16:52
1 minute read.
Iran's President Hassan Rouhani at an event hosted by the Council on Foreign Relations.

Rouhani laughing 370. (photo credit: REUTERS/Keith Bedford )

The Iranian foreign ministry has dismissed President Shimon Peres's offer to meet with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, AFP reported Tuesday.

Iranian foreign ministry spokeswoman, Marzieh Afkham, said her country would never recognize the Jewish state or change its stance, and claimed Peres's offer was aimed at easing Israeli isolation in the world.

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"There has not been nor will there be any change on Iran's stance and views regarding the Zionist regime," Afkam said.

"Iran does not recognize Israel. Our position regarding this oppressive and occupationist regime - which is completely illegitimate and has been created to occupy the lands of the Palestinians - is clear," she added.

On Sunday, Peres said in an interview he would have no problem meeting with Rouhani.

“Why not?” he said in an interview with CNN’s Richard Quest at the Globes Israel Business Conference in Tel Aviv. Israel and Iran are not enemies, he added.

The important factor was not the man in question, but his policies, and the goal was to turn enemies into friends, the president said. Peres compared the decision to Israel’s choice to meet with deceased Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat ahead of the Oslo Peace agreements.

The fact that structural players in Iran opposed Rouhani’s perspective complicated the matter, Peres said.

“If it was only him I’d take it with greater assurance, but there are other structures, other people,” he said. “The Iranian Revolutionary Guard, half army and half organization, spreads terror all over the world and I’m not so sure they support the president. We have to see the balance of the situation.”

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