Esfandiar Rahim Mashaie, Vice President and Head of Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization, said something that it is said today he deserves to be killed for it!
'Iran is friends with Israeli people'
TEHRAN (AFP) — Iran is "friends with the Israeli people", a deputy of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said, in stark contrast to Tehran's usual verbal assaults against the Jewish state, local media reported on Sunday.
Esfandiar Rahim Mashaie, vice president in charge of tourism and one of Ahmadinejad's closest confidants, also described the people of Iran's arch-enemy the United States as "one of the best nations in the world".
"Today, Iran is friends with the American and Israeli people. No nation in the world is our enemy, this is an honour," Rahim Mashaie said, according to the Fars news agency and Etemad newspaper.
Tehran, 12 August (AKI) - A volunteer paramilitary force known as the 'Basij' will protest in Iran on Wednesday demanding the removal of a government official who has said that Iranians are the "friends" of Israelis and Americans.
Student groups close to the government are asking for the immediate dismissal of Esfandiar Rahim Mashaie, vice-president of tourism, who in the past month has repeatedly mentioned Israelis and Americans as friends of Iranians.
On Tuesday, he once again repeated the controversial statements, adding that he did not want to modify anything that he said.
"I am proud about what I said and I am willing to repeat a thousand more times that we are friends of all the people in the world, including Americans and Israelis," said Mashaie.
Edited by Cyrus Shahmiri - 13-Aug-2008 at 13:10