Rouhani

Israeli leaders reacted with criticism to today’s speech by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

In a question and answer session following his address, the Islamic leader implied he was ready to make peace with all nations save one—Israel.

“We’ve had disputes with certain countries, but we would want to see a better future, and achieve peace with everyone,” Rouhani told attendees. When asked later by WEF founder Klaus Schwab whether he sought ties with Middle Eastern countries, Rouhani replied, “There are no exceptions; we wish for a better future and to have beneficial relations with all that we recognize.”

Iran does not recognize Israel.

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Following the comments, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Shimon Peres harshly condemned the remarks as deceptive.

From Netanyahu:

Rouhani is continuing with the Iranian show of deception. At a time when Rouhani condemns the killing of innocents, dozens of innocents were recently executed in Iran. At a time when Rouhani talks about a positive approach to technology, he prevents Iranians from freely surfing the Internet. At a time when Rouhani talks about peace with the countries of the Middle East, he refuses – even today – to recognize the existence of the State of Israel, and his regime daily calls for the destruction of the State of Israel.

At a time when Rouhani claims that Iran is not interested in a nuclear project for military purposes, Iran continues to strengthen its centrifuges and heavy water reactor, and to arm itself with intercontinental missiles, the sole purpose of which is for nuclear weapons. Rouhani has admitted that a decade ago, he deceived the West in order to advance the Iranian nuclear program. He is doing this today as well. The goal of the Iranian ayatollahs’ regime, which is hiding behind Rouhani’s smiles, is to ease sanctions without conceding on their program to produce nuclear weapons.

Therefore, the international community must not go astray after this deception, and it must prevent Iran from attaining the ability to produce nuclear weapons.

From Peres:

The most significant remarks were the ones he didn’t make – he didn’t express support for peace in the Middle East. He is the only leader I know who didn’t say clearly the time has come to make peace between Israel and the Arabs. He excluded the reference to peace and when he was asked if his vision included all countries he said it included only the ones that Iran will accept, that is some definition.

He didn’t announce that in order to reduce the bloodshed in Syria he’s going to stop sending arms and money to Hezbollah to the stop the killing, he could have announced that seeing as he doesn’t want a nuclear bomb that he will stop building long range missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads, he didn’t announce that Iran will stop being the center of terror in our time. We can see their fingers in many terrible pies that endanger lives. As far as Israel is concerned we are ready to make peace with the Iranian people, historically they have never been our enemies. We extend our hand for peace, including to the Iranian people, but today was a great occasion that was missed.

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