Iranian media on Wednesday lauded US President Barack Obama for a speech
in which he attested to "past mistakes" made by Washington, and said a
favorable shift has commenced in the global community's attitude toward
Tehran, AFP reported.
Newspapers in Iran hailed Washington's seemingly altered tone toward its long-time foe as alluded to in Obama's address to the UN General Assembly on Tuesday during which he spoke of engaging in a "diplomatic path" with the Islamic Republic.
AFP cited what it called the moderate Donya-e-Eqtesad
daily as welcoming the US leader's "different tone". The report also noted the so-called conservative Jomhouri Eslami
newspaper as praising Obama's pledge that the US was "not seeking regime change" in Iran.
The report quoted Shargh
newspaper as welcoming Obama's speech while arguing that the hawkish Israeli stance on Iran would lose pertinence.
cited the publication as claiming Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu
would become "isolated" and viewed as a "warmonger," while stating in
its editorial that, “Even those most pessimistic to an opening in
relations have accepted that the time for change has arrived”.
An Israeli wall of suspicion
hardened by Tehran's nuclear pursuits has not fettered amid a charm
offensive toward the West by Iran's new president and his nuanced
approach to his predecessor's Holocaust denial.
Netanyahu said Israel will not be fooled by Hassan Rouhani's
international outreach and the world must not be either.
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Netanyahu arrives in the United States next week, he will be on what
aides describe as a mission to unmask Iran's new administration, in
which the West sees a potentially promising partner for negotiations to
stop what it fears is a drive to develop atomic weapons.
Front Defense Minister Gilad Erdan said on Wednesday that he believes
Obama was sincere in his efforts to stop Iran from obtaining nuclear
Erdan told Israel Radio that the problem lies in the
moment when good intentions run into reality, as shown in the case of
The minister said he was worried that the world's changing
approach to Iran was a dangerous turn of events as Iran approaches the
ability to enrich uranium at an accelerated speed.
anticipated ever since Rouhani's election that there would be American
dialogue with Iran," a senior Israeli official taking part in the annual
UN forum told Reuters.
"Our goal is to ensure that these talks,
if they happen, are matched with action, and soon. The Iranians are
smiling, but they're still cheating, and that has to be exposed."
says its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes only. Israel, widely
assumed to have the Middle East's only atomic arsenal, demands a total
rollback of Iran's nuclear projects, including uranium enrichment and
plutonium production that could arm a bomb.
At White House talks
with President Barack Obama on Monday, and in a speech to the UN General
Assembly in New York a day later, Netanyahu will point to what he sees
as Iranian duplicity aimed at eluding foreign sanctions while entering
the final stretch toward nuclear weapons.
In the words of
Channel 2 television, the right-wing Israeli leader will assume the
unenviable role of "party pooper" in trying to dampen any Western
expectations of a breakthrough in the nuclear crisis.
At his UN
debut on Tuesday - boycotted by the Israeli delegation to the General
Assembly - Rouhani pledged Iran's willingness to engage immediately in
"time-bound" talks on the nuclear issue. He offered, however, no new
Staying away from the speech, Finance Minister Yair Lapid said, only played into Iranian hands.
have to let the Iranians be the ones refusing peace and not appear as
if we are not open to changes," Lapid said in a statement, signalling a
measure of domestic dissent that presented another challenge to
And with Rouhani's hardline predecessor Mahmoud
Ahmadinejad - a lightning rod for Israeli and Western criticism - no
longer on the world stage, Israel is now forced to dig deeper between
the lines of Iranian rhetoric to try to show Iranian intransigence.In a CNN interview on Tuesday
Rouhani avoided the Holocaust-denial language used by Ahmadinejad -
while also steering clear of acknowledging the deaths of six million
Jews at the hands of the Nazis.
The Holocaust, Rouhani said, was a "reprehensible crime" although its scale was a matter for historians.
comments ostensibly are welcome and a welcome change from those of his
predecessor, but for a head of state of a country that still openly
calls for Israel's destruction this statement, frankly, does not carry
much weight and it is effectively meaningless," said Nazi hunter Efraim
Zuroff, director of the Jerusalem office of the Simon Wiesenthal Center.
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