Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has given a belated indirect reply to a comment made by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, denying Netanyahu’s remarks about Iran’s intention to “destroy another 6 million plus Jews” by developing nuclear weapons.
Netanyahu had said during his European tour last week that Iran wants a second Holocaust after Khamenei said in a tweet that the Jewish state was "cancerous," reported the Jewish Chronicle on June 5. The tweet cited the comment from a 2012 speech by Khamenei.
In comments published on Khamenei’s official website on June 10, he said, "Now imagine the most cruel person of our time, the child-murderer prime minister of the Zionist Regime, goes to Europe and plays innocent, saying Iran wants to destroy them," adding, “The European addressee listens and shakes his head, without mentioning their crimes in Gaza and Quds."
Khamenei also called for a “referendum to determine the fate of Palestine as a country.” Khamenei’s idea about holding a referendum on the fate of the Palestinian territories is nothing new. Previously, Iranian reformist President Mohammad Khatami had called for such a referendum in 2000.
Meanwhile, Khamenei denied threatening to annihilate Israelis, saying it was former Egyptian leader “Gamal Abdul-Nasser who proclaimed they would throw the Jewish people into the sea. We never made such remarks.”
Khamenei made the comment, while from the very beginning of Iran’s Islamic revolution, his predecessor Ayatollah Rouhollah Khomeini had called for “wiping Israel off the map.”
In an outspoken attack on the Iranian leader, Netanyahu said during his European tour, “This is amazing at the beginning of the 21st century that someone talks about destroying Israel,” the JC report added.
“It means destroying another 6 million plus Jews,” the JC quoted Netanyahu as saying.
Khamenei had described Israel as a “malignant cancerous tumor” in a tweet on June 3 and declared that any country firing a missile at Iran “will be hit by 10.”
The call for “wiping Israel off the map” was also repeated in an official statement released at the end of the Qods day rallies on June 8.
On the same day, Tehran's hard-line Friday Prayer leader, Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami, labelled Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a "political beggar" and an enemy of God.
"Is there an enemy punier than Netanyahu, an enemy of God?" Khatami asked worshippers, who had marched to the University of Tehran from across the city to mark Qods Day, a pro-Palestinian holiday created by Iran after the 1979 Islamic Revolution. Iran’s hardliners have systematically used Qods Day rallies to repeat their anti-Israeli rhetoric.
On June 4, German Chancellor Angela Merkel called on Khamenei to delete the tweet that called Israel “a cancerous tumor” while she and other European leaders demanded the withdrawal of Iranian forces from Syria.
Meanwhile Israel's Prime Minister Benajmin Netanyahu has posted a video where the message is quite the opposite.