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Middle east

Iranians see Israeli elections as a no-win situation

Video by Alexandra RENARD , Sophie CLAUDET

Text by Alexandra RENARD , Sophie CLAUDET

Latest update : 2009-02-12

In Iran, hatred for Israel runs high and support for Palestinians is strong. FRANCE 24 special correspondents Sophie Claudet and Alexandra Renard report from Tehran, finding that locals view the Israeli election as a no-win for Iran.


In Iran, hatred for Israel runs high. At a rally celebrating the thirtieth anniversary of the revolution, signs say it all, and so do ugly effigies stamped with the Star of David. Support for Palestinians is strong. A boy sports the trademark Palestinian keffieh and wields a mock automatic gun.


People and politicians care very little about the outcome of the Israeli elections. In the assembly, a lawmaker says it makes no difference whether the future coalition is headed by Tzipi Livni or Benjamin Netanyahu.


FRANCE 24 spoke to Hamid Reza Hajibabayi, a conservative deputy and member of the security and foreign policy commission. He said, “What concerns us is that the Zionist regime is an occupying force. We don't care about whom of the two will govern. Experience has shown that, when they were previously part of the government, they were both illegitimate and behaving violently toward the Palestinian people."


He also dismissed Netanyahu's threat of a strike against Iran.


“It makes us laugh really. We believe that the Zionist regime is not strong enough and brave enough to attack us because their first strike would be their last."


In an organisation that defends Palestinians, people don't care much about Israeli politics either. FRANCE 24  spoke to Ihsan Rouillvaran, a member of the Organisation for the Defense of the Palestinian People. He said, “The Zionist regime rests on an ideology that is shared by every [Israeli] political party and a change of government will not bring about anything different or positive.”


Tehran said it was willing to resume a dialogue with Washington, but talking to Israel remains unthinkable for now.




Date created : 2009-02-12