When approached during a break in between speeches on Thursday at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani ignored a question put to him by Israeli reporter Karen Marciano.
While Rouhani has been charming delegates from around the world with his talk of “constructive engagement” with the international community, one country that hasn’t been mentioned among the list of Middle Eastern nations that Iran aspires to strengthen economic ties with is Israel.
In an attempt to coax the President of the Islamic Republic to comment on Iran’s views on the Jewish State, Channel 2′s Karen Marciano approached Rouhani as he was shuttling from one engagement to the next. “Mr. Rouhani, why did you not mention Israel today? Have you listened to [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu’s speech?” she asked.
The Iranian leader, buffered by bodyguards, ignored the inquiry and kept on walking.
Rouhani may have been miffed that the one obstacle to his charm offensive being an unabashed success is the Israeli delegation’s stubborn refusal to buy into claims that Iran today is a more open, tolerant, less menacing nation to its neighbors and the world than it was before he was elected President in June 2013.
Rouhani asserted at Davos that his country has never sought nuclear weapons. In response, Netanyahu said that the Iranian President’s speech has, “no connection to what’s going on on the ground.”
Connecting Iran’s alleged support of terrorist activities around the world to the current state of talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, Netanyahu said that the removal of the threat of a nuclear armed Iran would help bring about peace between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
“Half of Palestinian society is dominated by Iran’s proxy (Hamas),” the Israeli Premier said Thursday at Davos.
Read other articles by Algemeiner Jerusalem Correspondent Gidon Ben-Zvi here.