Netanyahu Dismisses Iranian Rosh Hashanah Greetings

YERUSHALAYIM (Reuters) -

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu dismissed the significance of reports that the new Iranian president and his foreign minister had both issued greetings to mark Rosh Hashanah.

Online messages that appeared to have been issued by newly elected Hassan Rouhani and Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, wishing Jews a good Rosh Hashanah, made headlines in Israel.

They were a change in tone from that of Rouhani’s predecessor, the notoriously anti-Semitic Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who left office last month and who had repeatedly called for the destruction of Israel.

Netanyahu said in a statement he was “not impressed,” and that the Iranian regime “will be judged only by its actions and not by greetings” whose purpose, he said, was to divert attention from its nuclear program.

He called on the international community to strengthen sanctions on Iran meant to curb its nuclear activities.