Times of Israel Creates Persian Edition to Reduce Hostility With Iran

A prominent Israeli news website has launched a new edition for Persian speakers aimed at "reducing hostilities" with Iran.

The Times of Israel, an English-language news website about Israeli domestic and foreign affairs, announced the edition with an article written by the site's editor, David Horovitz, telling Persian speakers "Khosh Amadid!" a greeting that translates as "Welcome!"

"The Times of Israel's Persian edition is emphatically aimed at opening communications with all Persian speakers, inside and outside Iran, and reflects our conviction that decent journalism is potent in reducing hostility and smashing stereotypes," wrote Horovitz.

This is the first time that an Israeli publication has attempted to connect with the Persian-speaking world, Horovitz says. The site will be overseen by Persian editor Avi Davidi under the domain fa.timesofisrael.com.

Davidi said the site will give readers a direct interaction with Israel, in contrast to the hostile coverage towards Israel in the Iranian press while telling them things about the Iranian regime that it would not want them to know.

Iran's hardline leadership, particularly Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, have called for the destruction of Israel. Khamenei, Iran's religious leader, last month said that Israel will not exist as a country in 25 years, in an address in the Iranian capital, Tehran.

"I'm saying [to Israel] that they won't live to see the end of these 25 years," Khamenei said, according to Israeli daily newspaper Haaretz. "With Allah's help, there will be no such thing as a Zionist regime in 25 years."

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has long been a critic of Iran's nuclear program and in July called a landmark nuclear deal struck between Tehran and six world powers a mistake of "historic proportions."

Despite being an Islamic Republic, Iran hosts a Jewish population of 9,000, the largest in the Middle East apart from Israel and Turkey.