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Iran VP retracts comment on Israelis | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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TEHRAN, Iran (AP) – One of Iran’s vice presidents is retracting controversial remarks he made that Iranians were “friends” with the Israeli people.

Vice President Esfandiar Rahim Mashai made the retraction in a statement published Saturday in several Iranian newspapers.

Mashai says he follows Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who said Friday that it was “illogical” for Iranians to be friends with Israelis.

Khamenei sought to end a controversy over Tehran’s stance toward the Jewish state, it’s biggest enemy in the region, and end the controversy sparked by Mashai’s remark. In mid-July, Mashai said Iranians were “friends of all people in the world, even Israelis.”