Iranian Jews in the United States Refuse a Meeting With Visiting President Rouhani

'Would Send the Wrong Message,' Leaders Say

No Chance: Hassan Rouhani may have tweeted a Rosh Hashana greeting to Jews, but his former countrymen aren’t convinced of his moderate stance.
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No Chance: Hassan Rouhani may have tweeted a Rosh Hashana greeting to Jews, but his former countrymen aren’t convinced of his moderate stance.

By Haaretz/Chemi Shalev

Published September 23, 2013.

The Iranian Jewish community in the U.S. has declined an official invitation to meet with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani during his current visit to New York.

Sam Kermanian, who serves as a special adviser to the Iranian American Jewish Federation, told Haaretz on Monday that community leaders were concerned that such a meeting would “send the wrong message to the administration and to American public opinion at this sensitive time.”

Kermanian added that the Iranian leaders had consulted with American Jewish leaders, including Malcolm Hoenlein of the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations, before making their decision. He said that Rouhani’s refusal to disavow his predecessor’s Holocaust denial in his NBC interview with Ann Curry were “an important factor” in their decision.

Informed sources said that the invitation for the meeting was made 10 days ago by a senior official at the Iranian mission to the UN. They said that the meeting with the Iranian Jews was to have included Iranian Foreign Minister Mohamad Zarif as well as the Iranian parliament’s lone Jewish member, Siamak Moreh Sedgh.

Read more at Haaretz.com



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