WASHINGTON - What was a group of Iranian journalists doing in "Jerusalem"? Twenty Iranian journalists from television networks, radio networks and newspapers entered "Israeli territory" in the United States on Thursday to participate in a press conference organized by
During the event that was broadcasted to Iran by satellite, statements made by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad were projected on a big screen. In the statements, he called for the destruction of Israel and the United States, denied the Holocaust and expressed his opposition to free world culture.
It was a one-of-a-kind event. The crew from the Iranian Channel One, which broadcasts from the city by three satellites and is viewed by 30 million people from Iran, was also present. There was also a photographers crew of Voice of America, which can be viewed by Iran and its neighboring countries, and it was also broadcasted live by the radio station Farda, which takes part in the broadcasted shows from the US to Iran, and the Fadia radio station.
"How can it be that someone like Ahmadinejad speaks on behalf of the Iranian nation, which has such a rich culture and history? The president's statements are creating an atmosphere of 1939," said the Israeli diplomat, whose statements were simultaneously translated into Persian.
"With all the respect we have for the Iranian nation, we will not let it dismiss the statements of the president calling for Israel's destruction," he added.
'Israel has nothing against Iran'
The Israeli consul told the Iranian journalists that their tax money is funding the training and the weaponry of Hizbullah, which launched about 4,000 rockets on innocent Israeli civilians.
"Israel has nothing against the Iranian nation or Islam," he said. "Before the revolution, Israel had diplomatic and economical relations with Teheran. The Iranian leadership wishes to destroy Israel, not because of what we do, but because of what we represent – democracy and freedom."
Talk show hosts and political analysts known all across Iran also took part in the conference. Some of them who opposed the Ayatollahs regime were evicted from the country after Khomeini came to power, others left the country many years before.
The Iranian journalists were so thrilled by the event that after the official press conference ended, they continued to interview one another on the matter and even stayed behind to speak with members of the Israeli consulate.
They asked the Israeli diplomats if Israel was planning on attacking Iran's nuclear sites. Consul Danoch reiterated Israel's official stand on the matter: "It is a problem that endangers the area and the entire world. Israel, as part of the international community, will take every diplomatic step possible to solve the problem by peaceful means."