Happy Rosh Hashanah from the Iranian government?

September 5, 2013
Associated Press/ Ebrahim Noroozi
Iran President Hassan Rouhani.            Associated Press/ Ebrahim Noroozi

Twitter, we’re hearing, apparently has  become the medium for the strongest public diplomacy campaign we’ve seen out of Iran in 34 years, our former colleague Robin Wright reports on her Facebook page.

Wright, who’s now a joint fellow at both  the Wilson Center and the U.S. Institute of Peace, says  Iranians have taken up Twitter with some alacrity.

She posted on her Facebook page Wednesday President Hassan Rouhani’s  tweet: “As the sun is about to set in Tehran, I wish all Jews, especially Iranian Jews, a blessed Rosh Hashanah.”

Iran’s new foreign minister and top nuclear negotiator Javad Zarif also tweeted “Happy Rosh Hashanah.” 

@sfpelosi, who we understand is  Christine Pelosi, the daughter of House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.),  tweeted back: “Thanks. The new year would be even sweeter if you would end Iran’s Holocaust denial, sir.”

To which Zarif responded: “Iran never denied it. the man who did is now gone. happy new year.”

So what are we to make of all this?

“This is the most effective public diplomacy campaign Iran has ever undertaken,in 34 years,” Wright said, and given that it is in English, the new crowd is trying to reverse the damage done during the eight years of President Ahmadinejad.

“This is the new Tweet-for-Peace campaign,” she added, though “it won’t make the issues that divide (Washington and Tehran) any easier.”

 

 


Al Kamen, an award-winning columnist on the national staff of The Washington Post, created the “In the Loop” column in 1993.
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Emily Heil | September 5, 2013