September 9, 2018 / 5:29 PM / 2 months ago

Iran's Zarif sends Jewish New Year greetings on Twitter

FILE PHOTO: Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif smiles as he attends a bilateral meeting with China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi on the sidelines of the ASEAN Foreign Ministers' Meeting in Singapore, August 3, 2018. REUTERS/Feline Lim/File Photo

DUBAI (Reuters) - Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted Jewish New Year greetings to Jews in Iran and around the world on Sunday, as tensions mount between the Islamic Republic and Israel over Tehran’s regional role.

“As the sun gives way to the moon, I wish all my Jewish compatriots and Jews worldwide a very Happy New Year filled with peace and harmony. Happy Rosh Hashanah,” Zarif said in his tweet.

Israel said last week it had carried out more than 200 attacks against Iranian targets in Syria in the past two years, and it signalled last Monday that it could attack suspected Iranian military assets in Iraq.

Iran does not recognise Israel and warned last month it would hit U.S. and Israeli targets if it were attacked by the United States after President Donald Trump’s security adviser said Washington would exert maximum pressure on Tehran going beyond economic sanctions.

Zarif, who has sent similar greetings in the past along with President Hassan Rouhani, also tweeted pictures of ceremonies held among Iran’s Jewish minority.

Iran’s ancient Jewish community has slumped to an estimated 10,000 to 20,000 from 85,000 at the time of the 1979 Islamic Revolution, but is believed to be the biggest in the Middle East outside Israel.

Reporting by Dubai newsroom; Editing by Kevin Liffey

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