Iranian Foreign Minister Joins Twitter: 'Happy Rosh Hashanah'
Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif is new to his job, but he's already reaching out to the Western world in interesting way: via Twitter.
CNN's Christiane Amanpour confirmed the account @JZarif belongs to the official after he tweeted "Happy Rosh Hashanah" Wednesday evening, and engaged in a Twitter exchange with Christine Pelosi, a documentary filmmaker and daughter of Rep. Nancy Pelosi.
Happy Rosh Hashanah— Javad Zarif (@JZarif) September 5, 2013
In response to Zarif's tweet about the Jewish Holiday, Pelosi wrote: "Thanks. The New Year would be even sweeter if you would end Iran's Holocaust denial, sir. “@JZarif: Happy Rosh Hashanah."
Thanks. The New Year would be even sweeter if you would end Iran's Holocaust denial, sir. “@JZarif: Happy Rosh Hashanah”— sfpelosi (@sfpelosi) September 5, 2013
Zarif took issue with that, writing to Pelosi: "Iran never denied it. The man who was perceived to be denying it is now gone. Happy New Year." (Former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad courted controversy by failing to acknowledge the Holocaust in interviews.)
@sfpelosi Iran never denied it. The man who was perceived to be denying it is now gone. Happy New Year.— Javad Zarif (@JZarif) September 5, 2013
In addition to Amanpour confirming the account belongs to Zarif, journalist Robin Wright also tweeted she had spoken with him and confirmed the account. She said he was aware Pelosi was the daughter of a well-known American politician.
Zarif also took to Facebook, to question a possible U.S. intervention in Syria, noting America did not step in when Iraq used chemical weapons on Syrian civilians in the 1980s.
"Any use of chemical weapons must be condemned, regardless of its victims or culprits. This is Iran’s unambiguous position as a victim of chemical warfare," he wrote. "But has it always been the position of those who are now talking about punishing their presumed culprit? How did they react when civilians in Iran and Iraq were victims of independently established massive and systematic use of advanced chemical weapons by their then-friend Saddam Hussein?"
After Zarif posted a message rejecting of militarism and use of chemical weapons, a Texas carpenter asked if Iran would consider using nuclear weapons on Israel. Zarif responded "we do not have nukes. they do."
@deboltcarpentry we do not have nukes. they do.— Javad Zarif (@JZarif) September 5, 2013