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    Bungled quote

    February 21-2014

    ZARIF. . . the big problem

    ZARIF. . . the big problem

    Iran has complained bitterly about “the Israeli media” distorting the words of Foreign Minister Mohammad-Javad Zarif (photo) and reporting that he said Iran might recognize Israel after a peace agreement is signed with the Palestinians.  The “Israeli media” did not say this; one newspaper, The Times of Israel, carried the bogus quote and quickly posted a correction on its website when it found it was wrong.  Zarif gave an interview in English to a German television station, which gave a spoken German translation that made Zarif’s English unrecognizable and led to a bungled translation back into English.  Later, the television station issued the original English and it was seen that Zarif said nothing new and did hold out any prospect of recognizing Israel.  The confusion was caused by Zarif’s diplomatic vagueness.  Asked if Iran would recognize Israel if the Palestinians reached a peace settlement with Isarel, Zarif said: “That is a sovereign decision that Iran will make.”  Not exactly a denial.

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