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.
Getty Images
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.
  • Print
  • Share Share

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


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • "Orwell described the cliches of politics as 'packets of aspirin ready at the elbow.' Israel's 'right to defense' is a harder narcotic."
  • From Gene Simmons to Pink — Meet the Jews who rock:
  • The images, which have since been deleted, were captioned: “Israel is the last frontier of the free world."
  • As J Street backs Israel's operation in Gaza, does it risk losing grassroots support?
  • What Thomas Aquinas might say about #Hamas' tunnels:
  • The Jewish bachelorette has spoken.
  • "When it comes to Brenda Turtle, I ask you: What do you expect of a woman repressed all her life who suddenly finds herself free to explore? We can sit and pass judgment, especially when many of us just simply “got over” own sexual repression. But we are obliged to at least acknowledge that this problem is very, very real, and that complete gender segregation breeds sexual repression and unhealthy attitudes toward female sexuality."
  • "Everybody is proud of the resistance. No matter how many people, including myself, disapprove of or even hate Hamas and its ideology, every single person in Gaza is proud of the resistance." Part 2 of Walid Abuzaid's on-the-ground account of life in #Gaza:
  • After years in storage, Toronto’s iconic red-and-white "Sam the Record Man" sign, complete with spinning discs, will return to public view near its original downtown perch. The sign came to symbolize one of Canada’s most storied and successful Jewish family businesses.
  • Is $4,000 too much to ask for a non-member to be buried in a synagogue cemetery?
  • "Let’s not fall into the simplistic us/them dichotomy of 'we were just minding our business when they started firing rockets at us.' We were not just minding our business. We were building settlements, manning checkpoints, and filling jails." What do you think?
  • PHOTOS: 10,000 Israel supporters gathered for a solidarity rally near the United Nations in New York yesterday.
  • Step into the Iron Dome with Tuvia Tenenbom.
  • What do you think of Wonder Woman's new look?
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.