Iran late Thursday denied that new President Hassan Rouhani, considered by some to be a relative reformer, tweeted a Rosh Hashanah greeting to Jews the world over Wednesday, focusing specifically on Iranian Jews.
“Mr. Rouhani does not have a tweeter account,” presidential adviser Mohammad Reza Sadeq was quoted by Iran’s Fars news agency as saying on the matter.
Sadeq stressed that “proponents and fans of Mr. Rouhani were active in the cyberspace during the recent presidential election in Iran and used many web pages with titles similar or close to Mr. Rouhani to run their activities,” meaning the Twitter page wasn’t Rouhani’s own.
“Of course, such activities are fully normal during election campaigns, and some of them might continue their operation even after the election,” Sadeq added. “Any official news on [Rouhani] is released by the presidential office … and only the news released through this conduit is official.”
On Wednesday, Jews around the world received an unexpected holiday greeting from someone claiming to be Rouhani, who took to his Twitter account to say, “As the sun is about to set here in #Tehran I wish all Jews, especially Iranian Jews, a blessed Rosh Hashanah.”
— Hassan Rouhani (@HassanRouhani) September 4, 2013
The tweet was accompanied by a 2011 photo of an Iranian Jew praying at Tehran Synagogue.
A 2012 census revealed that there were fewer than 9,000 Jews left in Iran — which nonetheless remains the region’s second-largest Jewish community after Israel.
The Iranian president said last month that his countrymen elected him to change the country’s foreign policy and shift away from the bombastic style adopted under Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. During this year’s presidential election campaign, Rouhani decried Ahmadinejad’s broadsides against Jews as “hate rhetoric.”