With Friends Like These…

Iranian VP Esfandiar Rahim-Mashaei wants you to know something.

Iran is a friend of Israel and the Israeli people. Really. Iran has no enemies in the world and is also a good friend of the United States, as Ha’aretz reports:

“Iran wants no war with any country, and today Iran is friend of the United States and even Israel…. Our achievements belong to the whole world and should be used for expanding love and peace,” said Iranian Vice President Esfandiar Rahim-Mashaei, who is also head of the Cultural Heritage Organization…

The remarks by the vice president followed last week’s warnings by some Iranian officials that Tehran’s long-range missiles could target the Jewish state if the U.S. and Israel realized their threats to attack Iran’s nuclear sites.

Masha’ei called his nation’s friendship with the American and Israeli people an honor, and while Iran has no nation in the world as its enemies, Mashaei said that Iran does have enemies who wish to attack them. (Ostensibly this refers to rumored American threats to attack Iran if current nuclear negotiation talks falter.)

PR? Definitely. Chutzpah? Absolutely. Ahmadenijad has never retracted his statements on Israel, and Masha’ei was certainly not speaking as a friend of Israel at the “World Without Zionism” conference. One must wonder who the intended audience of such statements is: no human being in their right mind would entertain the thought for a second that Iranian policy has flipped to this extent, that friendship with the citizens of the “Zionist entity” is “honorable”.

However, teshuva is always possible, and if this really is the new policy of Iran, then they have a whole lot of improvement to do in making good on their new-found “friendship”. (Not the least of which being cutting off Hezbollah payrolls, but that’s beside the point.)

Mashaei wants to encourage tourism to Iran and envisions a day when no one will need a visa to enter Iran.

I don’t think El-Al will be flying any non-stop flights from Ben-Gurion any time soon.

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  1. xisnotx

    7/20/2008 at 11:27 pm

    Note that the US is considering its diplomats back to Iran: http://www.theage.com.au/world/us-eyes-official-return-to-iran-20080717-3gwy.html

  2. Rabbi Yonah

    7/21/2008 at 12:11 am

    Maybe the Mossad got to him with some ecstasy tablets?

  3. Kari

    7/21/2008 at 12:19 pm

    Why does this suddenly remind me of Nineteen Eighty-Four?

  4. Ben

    7/21/2008 at 3:46 pm

    This seems like a weird situation in general. Both Iran and the U.S. have been nothing but obstinate, and then all of a sudden the State Department changes policy towards negotiating with Iran ( http://abcnews.go.com/US/story?id=5417864&page=1 )…followed by this enigmatic announcement. I mean, we can’t complain, though, right? Or is this too good to be true?

  5. Alex

    7/21/2008 at 6:19 pm

    I prefer Tom’s explanation. This may hopefully be the last step before decisive military action. We only have another few months before the wimp is elected, and then its downhill from here. Please g-d, do not have mercy on my enemies.

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