While "Death to Israel" is globally recognized as one of the trademark slogans of the Islamic Republic, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif insists that nobody in Tehran has ever threatened Israel with destruction.
Speaking to the French weekly, Le Point, Zarif fires back at a question, demanding, "When did we say we want to annihilate Israel?"
Zarif goes further by maintaining that nobody in Iran has ever said that the Islamic Republic is seeking to “annihilate” Israel.
“When did we say we want to annihilate Israel? Find one person that has said so. Nobody has said that” he asserted.
Furthermore, he claims that even the founder of the Islamic Republic, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, and former hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had said that Israel will be wiped out from the map because of the policies it follows.
However, Zarif has not given his interpretation of the recent comments of the current Islamic Republic's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, on the necessity of wiping Israel off the map.
As recently as June 3, 2018, Khamenei lashed out at Israel, calling the Jewish state the “cancerous tumor” of the region that must be “removed and eradicated.”
Challenging Zarif's denial, Le Point asks the U.S.-educated diplomat to explain why the motto, "Death to Israel" is plastered on the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps' missiles?
Skipping the spirit of the question, Zarif refers to the Israeli Prime Minister as a figure who has threatened Iran with destruction.
Zarif's response echoed one of his tweets in August when he lambasted Netanyahu's speech about Iran's nuclear capability, branding him as "shameless" for effectively threatening the Islamic Republic with destruction while standing at the heart of "Israel's secretive nuclear facility".
Writing on his Twitter account again on Tuesday, December 18, Zarif asserted, "He (Netanyahu) openly boasts about his OFFENSIVE missiles that can reach anywhere and he still whines about Iran's Deterrent and DEFENSIVE missiles, and the West parrots his concerns".
However, Zarif's denial is in sharp contrast with the long list of comments made by the Islamic Republic's leaders, including President Hassan Rouhani, describing Israel as a “cancerous tumor” that should be "removed" from the region.