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Khamenei Renews Death Wish For Israel

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei of Iran saying Fitr prayers on 15 June 2018
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei of Iran saying Fitr prayers on 15 June 2018

The Islamic Republic’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said once again that Israel “will not last and will perish in the not-so-far future.”

Iran’s official news agency IRNA quoted Khamenei as saying, “Israel’s problem is one of illegitimacy, and a regime based on illegitimacy would definitely be annihilated and destroyed.”

Khamenei said this as part of his Eid Al-Fitr sermon in Tehran on Friday June 15, only a few days after denying Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s remarks about Iran’s intention to “destroy another 6 million plus Jews” by developing nuclear weapons.

He had branded Netanyahu’s remark as “a lie,” adding that Israel was “playing innocent.”

Meanwhile, Khamenei’s Twitter account also published his statement in English on Friday, leaving no doubt for the rest of the world about his latest position on Israel.

At the same time, Khamenei once again defended the idea of holding a referendum “to determine the political system of Palestine,” adding that “holding such a referendum would practically annihilate Israel.”

He made the remark while he has never responded to numerous calls made by the Iranian opposition to hold a referendum to determine the political system in Iran forty years after a referendum that established the Islamic Republic as the ruling regime in Iran.

Khamenei has repeatedly said that Israel would be wiped off the map within the next 25 years.

Nevertheless, only five days before his recent comments he 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,” he insisted.

Following these remarks, opposition websites including Zeitoun, said that Khamenei has made a “tactical withdrawal” from his positions of annihilating Israel because of its negotiations with Europe over preserving the nuclear deal.

Netanyahu had said during his European tour in early June 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 nodes his head, without mentioning their crimes in Gaza and Quds."

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.”

On June 4, German Chancellor Angela Merkel called on Khamenei to delete the tweet while she and other European leaders demanded the withdrawal of Iranian forces from Syria.