“Iranian president denies Israeli handshake: Says incident at pope’s funeral did not take place,” from AP, with thanks to Skeetstreet:
TEHRAN, Iran – Iranian President Mohammad Khatami strongly denied shaking hands and chatting with Israeli President Moshe Katsav at Pope John Paul II’s funeral, state-run media reported Saturday.
Following the pope’s funeral on Friday, Katsav said he shook hands and chatted briefly with Khatami and the leader of another archenemy of Israel, Bashar Assad of Syria. Syria on Friday confirmed the handshake between Assad and Katsav but played down its political significance.
But after returning to Iran, Khatami denied shaking Katsav’s hand.
“These allegations are false like other allegations made by Israeli media and I have not had any meeting with any one from the Zionist regime,” the state-run Islamic Republic News Agency quoted Khatami as
Allegations? Khatami feels as if he has been “accused” of shaking hands with the Israeli President? Somehow, we don’t think this is a good omen, despite what the Israeli press had to say about the incident.
Khatami was cited as saying his country “morally and logically” does not recognize Israel but will not interfere in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.
Mr. Khatami, could you please explain exactly why you feel it is not moral or logical to recognize Israel? Of course, if you will entertain a question from a kafir najis at all.
Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom, meanwhile, said he doubted the handshake could represent a diplomatic breakthrough.
Right again, Shalom.