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Mashaei says Iran has no enemies
Ahmadinejad says Israel is an aggressor
Photo: AP
Iranian VP: We are friends of the nation in Israel
While Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad frequently refers to Israel as an enemy regime, his deputy, Esfandiar Rahim-Mashaei declares on Saturday that Iran has no enemies, is 'a friend of the people in the United States and Israel'
The world is all too familiar with the less-than-friendly epithets directed by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad against the "Zionist entity."

 

One wonders, then, how he will take to the surprising statements made his vice president on Saturday in which he proclaims Iran "a friend to the nation in Israel and the United States."

 

Speaking at a tourism convention in Tehran, Esfandiar Rahim-Mashaei said: “No nation in the world is our enemy, Iran is a friend of the nation in the United States and in Israel, and this is an honor. We view the American nation as one with the greatest nations of the world.”

 

His words garnered little attention from the Iranian media and the startling rhetoric only appears on his official internet site.

 

Iranian officials have made statements in the past regarding their country's friendship to America, and often emphasized their stance on deepening relations between the two, but never before has such a statement been made by any member of Iran's top echelon in regards to Israel.

  

Mashaei, who also serves as director of the Iran Cultural Heritage Organization, also told the conference that "today, more than ever, the world has opened its ears to history, to hear about the most beautiful of things."

 

He added that Iran "wants no war with any country," and insisted that Iran's actions during its war with Iraq were purely defensive.

 

While Mashaei holds no sway in Iranian foreign affairs, as an official representative of the Islamic regime in

Tehran, his words carry weight – even if they were unplanned.

 

Mashaei’s friendly comments come in sharp contrast to recent statements made by Ahmadinejad, in which he prophesized that Israel is headed towards destruction "without any need for Iranian action.”

 

He added that Iran "wants no war with any country," and insisted that Iran's actions during its war with Iraq were purely defensive.

 

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