Israel challenged by Iran charm offensive: analysts
JERUSALEM (AFP) - As Iran's new president reaches out to the West with a message of moderation, Israel's hawkish approach on Tehran's nuclear programme looks likely to come under pressure, experts say.
President Hassan Rowhani on Tuesday emphasised the peaceful nature of the Islamic republic's atomic programme, telling the UN General Assembly that "nuclear weapons... have no place in Iran's security and defence doctrine". Israel scrambled to denounce the speech, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu calling it "cynical" and "full of hypocrisy".
"This is exactly Iran's strategy - to talk and play for time in order to advance its ability to achieve nuclear weapons. Rowhani knows this well," charged Mr Netanyahu.
But Mr Rowhani's diplomatic overtures, which stand in stark contrast to the belligerent statements so commonly heard from his predecessor Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, are proving to be quite a challenge to the Israeli premier.