German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas has criticized IRGC Commander Hossein Salami for his "anti-Jewish comments" in his Thursday June 11 message to Islamic Jihad leader Ziyad al-Nakhaleh.
The Jerusalem post quoted Heiko Maas as having said that such remarks are "unacceptable," and spread anti-Semitism across the region.
Salami has said in his condolence message on the occasion of the death of Islamic Jihad's former leader Ramazan Abdallh Shalah, that he was certain about the destruction of Israel.
However, this was not the first time Salami spoke about the annihilation, destruction and elimination of Israel.
Some earlier remarks by Hossein Salami about Israel include:
- "All parts of Israel are within reach of our weapons. They'd better watch it," Qods Online, February 17, 2020.
- "We will hit both Israel and the United States if they make a mistake," Tabnak, February 13, 2020.
- "If the US makes another move, we will set fire to the place they love, that is Israel," Mashregh News, January 7, 2020.
- "Our strategy is one of wiping Israel off the political geography of the world," Radio Farda, January 28, 2019.
- "Our strategy is to wipe Israel off the world's political geography. With what Israel is doing, it is bringing this reality forward," Borna, April 22,2019.
- "Salami told Israel, the United States, UK and regional states: We will set fire to your interests if you do not stop your sedition against Iran," Tasnim, December 12, 2019."
- "The dream To Destroy Israel will be realized soon," DW, November 14, 2019.
- "If Israel begins a new war, that would be the war which would lead to its elimination," Pars Today, February 2019.
These are only some of Salami's hate-speak, which in turn is an example of what Islamic Republic officials says against Israel on almost a daily basis.
In his latest remarks, Salami called for the "elimination of the fabricated and criminal regime of Israel" and "elimination of Israel as the region's cancerous tumor."
According to Jerusalem Post, Heiko Maas who first called Salami's rhetoric anti-Israeli, later called his speech anti-Jewish after a June 10 visit to Israel.
Maas said that he "strongly criticizes the call for the annihilation of Israel as this is a way of legitimizing terror."
Salami had said at a gathering of IRGC commanders last September, "We made the preparations for the destruction of the fabricated regime of Israel in the first step of the Islamic revolution. In our second step, this inauspicious regime should be eliminated from the political geography of the world."
At the time, German Chancellor Angela Merkel had harshly criticized Salami's remarks.
On Wednesday, during a meeting with the German Foreign Minister, Israel's new foreign and defense ministers called Iran "a big threat" for the region.
The stance by the new Israeli officials is consistent with Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu's positions.
During the meeting with Heiko Maas, Israel's Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi reiterated that "Israel will never tolerate an Iran armed with nuclear weapons near its borders."
Israel recently welcomed German government's designation of the political wing of the Lebanese Hezballah as a terrorist group. However, Berlin has ruled out Israel's demand for pulling out of the nuclear deal with Iran.
These can be seen as signs that Iran is losing more support aong European powers at a time of diplomatic isolation and a U.S. push to renew an arms embargo in October.
Germany was a major trade partner of Iran before U.S. sanctions were imposed in 2018 and cooperates with other European partners trying to save the 2015 nuclear agreement known as JCPOA.