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April 10, 2005
How Dare You Call Me Civilized!

In one of the more ludicrous diplomatic stories to emerge from the funeral of Pope John Paul II, Iranian president Mohammed Khatami now denies touching Israeli president Moshe Katsav at the services:

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. ...

These allegations are false like other allegations made by Israeli media and I have not had any meeting with any one from Zionist (Israeli) regime, the state-run Islamic Republic News Agency quoted Khatami as saying.

Katsav, who was born in the same Iranian region as Khatami, claims that he shook Khatami's hand and spoke about their home town in Farsi, both men's birth tongue. Katsav says the two men shook hands and wished each other peace. Now, for obvious reasons, Khatami wants to assure Iranians that he remains as anti-Semitic as always and wouldn't dream of treating Katsav in a civilized manner. Far better for Khatami to claim that he acted in the purest interests of hatred.

I guess the lessons of John Paul II have been completely lost on Khatami and the Iranians. It makes one wonder why they bothered to attend the funeral.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at April 10, 2005 9:57 AM

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