Iranian media are quoting the country’s vice president as saying Iranians are “friends of all people in the world – even Israelis.”

It’s a rare comment from a government official in Iran, whose president regularly calls for Israel’s destruction.

Several newspapers and the official Web site of Iran’s tourism agency today attributed the comment to Vice President Esfandiar Rahim Mashai.

Mashai is in charge of Iranian tourism and historical sites.

It’s believed to be the first time an official Iranian government Web site has carried an expression of sympathy by an Iranian vice president toward Israelis.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad prompted international criticism when he said in 2005 that he believed Israel should be “wiped off the map.


Author: MRN NetworkThe aspiration of the Media Review Network is to dispel the myths and stereotypes about Islam and Muslims and to foster bridges of understanding among the diverse people of our country. The Media Review Network believes that Muslim perspectives on issues impacting on South Africans are a prerequisite to a better appreciation of Islam.