Sunday, July 20, 2008

Iran VP's remarks spark controversy

Press TV

"Iran's Vice President in charge of tourism affairs says the Islamic Republic is on good terms with the people of America and Israel.

While Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad enjoys much of his popularity in the Muslim World for questioning the real extent of the Holocaust and criticizing Israel, his deputy has made remarks that have sparked controversy.

"Today, Iran is friends with the American and Israeli people. No nation in the world is our enemy. We are proud of our stance in this regard," Fars news agency quoted Iranian Vice President for Tourism and Cultural Heritage Esfandiar Rahim-Mashaie as saying.

"Of course, we do have enemies. The Iranian people are subject to the most unfair of hostilities," he said on the sidelines of a tourism conference in Tehran Sunday.

"We see the Americans as one of the best nations in the world," Rahim-Mashaie added.

He expressed hope that efforts by the Iranian government to support the tourism industry will bear fruit. "I hope a day will come when no tourist will need a visa to enter Iran." "

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