Esfandiar Rahim Mashai, the Iranian vice president for tourism and the director of the Iranian Cultural Heritage Organization, has been under fire after he declared that Iran is “a friend of all people in the world, even Israelis and Americans.” He said almost the same thing a few weeks ago, but “corrected” his comment by saying that by “Israeli people”, he did not include Zionists and Jewish immigrants. Now 200 legislators in the Iranian parliament have asked President Mahmoud Ahmadinehad to dismiss him.
Esmail, an Islamist Iran-based blogger, writes that a group of Islamist students held a demonstration in front of the Cultural Heritage Organization in Tehran to protest against the Vice President. The blogger has published several photos of demonstrators and their slogans such as, “Go live with the lovely Israelis” and “Being a revolutionary requires revolutionary action not illusion”.
Photos from Esmail News.
Esmail writes that, “despite the fact that more than 200 legislators asked for the vice president's dismissal, the number of protesters was small. Maybe one reason is that a specific group of students organized it.”
It is surprising that some people instead of criticising Esfandyar Rahim Mashai, are attacking Ahmadinejad. They act like Ahmadinejad wants to recognise Israel and establish relations with the USA. They ignore the fact that Ahmadinejad, despite all the pressure, did not retreat on his position regarding the Holocasut.
Hamed Talebi, who writes in Khabarnegare Mosalman blog and supports Ahmadinejad, wrote that he cannot understand why Ahmadinejad supports Mashai considering his comments on Israel, the US, and the world.
What happened now that Mashai proudly insists that Iranian people have friendly relations with Israeli people, and does not want to retreat form his comments? Is it really too much that the children of Islamic Revolution ask Mr. Mashai to only speak of his specialty, and not play the role of government's spokesman?…
Of course, not all bloggers are against Mashai. Zamineh Ensha says [Fa]:
I support Mashai's comments. It is very valuable thing that somebody in the Iranian government repeats that Iranian people are equal with Israelis and Americans. Such a comment in the current international context is important.