A number of Iranian officials have stated in recent years that one of the prime objectives of its radical Islamic regime is to destroy Israel.
Now, however, one Iranian official insists the country’s leaders have been misunderstood
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said in a recent interview that the remarks were merely an affirmation that “Israel would eventually disappear if it continued its present policy.”
But “Zarif’s claim is a blatant lie,” said the Middle East Media Research Institute. “The various Iranian regime governments have consistently and explicitly presented the destruction of Israel as an ideological and practical goal of the Islamic Revolution.”
The comments from Zarif came during a Dec. 23, 2018, interview with the French weekly Le Point.
The interviewer, in response to Zarif’s claim, quoted a statement made by former Iranian president Ahmadinejad at the U.N. against Israel.
But Zarif discounted it, saying he had merely been quoting the founder of the Islamic regime, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.
MEMRI pointed out, however, that just last summer, Iran’s supreme leader, Ali Khamenei, tweeted: “Our stance against Israel is the same stance we have always taken. #Israel is a malignant cancerous tumor in the West Asian region that has to be removed and eradicated: it is possible and it will happen.”
MEMRI uncovered comments from Iranian officials explaining their position.
“The vast majority of Iranian regime spokesmen’s declarations of the intent to eradicate Israel – from Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei to the lowest level – have focused on doing so by military means via the resistance movements, with Iranian support. However, on occasion, following Western pressure, this blunt and straightforward version of the goal of eliminating Israel is refined into a more sophisticated version, the main thrust of which is eliminating Israel as a state by means of an ostensibly democratic vote by those referred to by Khamenei as ‘the true Palestinians’ – all Palestinians, Christians and Muslims alike, both inside and outside Israel, as well as Israeli Jews who were present in British Mandatory Palestine prior to 1948,” MEMRI reported.
“Various expressions of the concept of eliminating Israel via referendum emerged as early as the first years of the 2000s, as did declarations regarding a straightforward military elimination of Israel.”
Among other comments in the past few months documented by MEMRI:
Basij Deputy Commander Gen. Mohammad Hossein Sepehr: “Khamenei said that the Zionist regime will not exist in another 25 years. With God’s help, we promise to destroy Israel.”
Guardian Council secretary Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati: “I am officially announcing that Israel’s life has reached its end. Soon we will celebrate the destruction of this [Israeli] regime in Palestine, so that we will be able to purge the Muslims’ first qibla [direction of prayer, a reference to Jerusalem] of them.”
Basij commander Gholam-Hossein Gheib Parvar: “Our aspiration and the aspiration of every freedom-seeking country is the destruction of the Zionist regime.”
Expediency Council member Gholam-Hossein Mohseni-Ejei: “All Muslims, in Iran and worldwide, feel a responsibility to support the Palestinian people, and hope to see the destruction of Israel with their own eyes soon…”
Iranian President Hassan Rohani: “I expect all our dear people of Iran to send this message … to the tyrannical Zionist regime: The Iranians have not forgotten Palestine and Jerusalem, and the liberation of Jerusalem remains the sacred aspiration of the Iranian people and of all Muslims, [as demonstrated by] their participation in the great Qods Day march. The day is not far off when the honorable Palestinian people will return to its home and the Muslims will be able to worship in Jerusalem, their first qibla.”
Khameini said in 2015: “The Zionist regime is an illegitimate and false regime. Let me say something about the Zionist regime. After the nuclear talks were over, I heard that the Zionists in occupied Palestine had said: ‘In the meantime, thanks to the results of the talks, we will have 25 years of quiet regarding the problem of Iran. After 25 years, we will think of something.’ I respond to them by saying: ‘First of all, in 25 years you will not be alive.'”