News / Middle East

Tehran Leader's Comment About Israel Raises Stir

Iran's President-elect Hassan Rouhani, after speaking at a press conference, in Tehran, June 17, 2013.
Iran's President-elect Hassan Rouhani, after speaking at a press conference, in Tehran, June 17, 2013.
VOA News
On the eve of taking office, Iran's President-elect Hassan Rouhani on Friday was at the center of controversy over remarks he reportedly made about Israel.
 
The Iranian Student News Agency (ISNA) first reported that Rouhani called Israel a "wound" that "has sat on the body of the Muslim world" and needs to be "removed." International news agencies carried the remarks and Israel's prime minister issued a swift retort.
 
However, Iranian state television said later that accounts of Rouhani's comments were distorted. It aired video of reporters interviewing Rouhani in which he said "occupying Palestinian territories is like an old wound in the body of Islamic society."
 
The video, viewed by VOA's Persian News Network, could not be independently verified.
 
Rouhani's remarks came as Iranians held rallies celebrating Friday as Quds Day (Jerusalem Day). He is due to take office on Sunday.
 
Iranian news reports say the president-elect also cast doubt on Israel's efforts to revive peace talks with Palestinians.
 
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu quickly criticized Rouhani's reported comments, saying the Iranian leader had shown his "true face" sooner than expected. He said Rouhani's comments were part of Iran's "plan of action" against Israel.
 
Iran has been steadfast in its rejection of Israel as a state. Israel and Western powers have accused Iran of having nuclear weapons ambitions, a charge Tehran denies. Israel has warned it will not tolerate Iran's development of a nuclear arsenal, which Israel sees as an emerging threat.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.
(This story is an updated version of an earlier report.)

You May Like

Video One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Goodbye, New York

This is what the fastest-growing big cities in America have in common More

Job-Seeking Bangladeshis Risk Lives to Find Work

The number of Bangladeshi migrants on smugglers’ boats bound for Southeast Asian countries has soared in the past two years More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: veteran from: herat
August 03, 2013 3:38 PM
This just shows how this state is dangerous for humanidade.Não we understand how the world is not yet firmly reacts to this dangerous race to nuclear terrorism so that this country wants to achieve or alcançou.Será that are already there waiting for the will shoot first? (who has not sinned to be the first to throw a stone).

by: Mike
August 03, 2013 12:21 AM
So he never said "Israel is an old would" or that it should be "removed".

All he said was that the "occupation of Palestinian lands" is an old wound.

It looks like it doesn't matter what Iranian leaders say. The liars like Bibi Netanyahu will simply misrepresent their statements, and millions of people will believe them.
In Response

by: Les from: Worldwide
August 04, 2013 2:07 PM
Mike - Everything matters , especially in proper translation . Educated or those who follow the truth knows very well , that Iran is NOT a perpetrator and overlook the reason of this uneven conflict .
All that mess and outrages pointing the guilt on innocents has only one desire : MORE LAND and VIOLENCE , with vision of unnecessary war benefiting ever hungry for somebodies wealth .

by: Godwin from: Nigeria
August 02, 2013 12:16 PM
Well, well, and well. However it's coming too early. Like the saying goes, the leopard cannot change its color. Rouhani is a true Iranian, a chip of the old block. When he commented on Israel in a previous report, it became obvious that the expectation of change from the Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's acrimony against Israel was a misplaced one. Ahmadinejad hated Israel with a passion, but he sometimes made comments that could be considered suave. But Rouhani is a step above Ahmadinejad's hatred for Israel.

He is the one that will deceive the West and strike at Israel when no one expects it. How did anyone think Rouhani - a right hand man to Ali Khamenei - will be anything friendly with civilization and Israel? Saying one is a wound that should be removed is another way of re-echoing his predecessor's denial of the holocaust. Should he be the one to start the trouble? Good he has called his own name in the darkness of the unknown future. A problem understood is half solved, the other half solution is to take appropriate action. Hope Israel is watching.

by: Anonymous
August 02, 2013 8:52 AM
he never said that the wound needs to be "removed." get your facts correct or don't report
In Response

by: Les from: Worldwide
August 02, 2013 6:30 PM
It would be fair to say , that in present expansionism , Israel has no borders , which in brutality of their actions forgot to respect any International Law . If Zionists fear of healing the wounds , firstly should return occupied land and repay damages to Palestinians , than looking for peace , which they "love so much" . Arrogant demands , backed by possession of given to them nukes by US have no moral bases to expect Iranians waiting for provoked war , this time shorter than 6 days .

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs