Aug 15, 2012 No Comments ›› Pat Dollard
(JP) Iranian officials ramp up rhetoric ahead of anti-Israel event, Al-Quds Day; Israeli gov’t official: The fact that Iran makes such comments despite increased int’l pressure shows they really believe it. With the US sending clear public signals to Israel that it is opposed to military action now against Iran, and a cacophonous debate on the matter in Israel, senior Iranian officials continue to threaten Israel with destruction.
Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Wednesday that he was confidant “the fake Zionist (regime) will disappear from the landscape of geography,” Iran’s Mehr News Agency reported. Khamenei made the comments during a meeting with veterans of the Iran-Iraq War.
“The light of hope will shine on the Palestinian issue, and this Islamic land will certainly be returned to the Palestinian nation,” Khamenei was quoted as saying.
Earlier on Wednesday Brig.- Gen. Gholamreza Jalali, the head of Iran’s Passive (civil) Defense Organization and a former commander of the Revolutionary Guards, during a speech ahead of Al-Quds Day, an anti-Israel event initiated by Iran, said that in order to liberate Palestine there was no other option but to destroy Israel.
“[Al-Quds Day] is a reflection of the fact that no other way exists apart from resolve and strength to completely eliminate the aggressive nature and to destroy Israel,” Jalali said, according to a report by Iran’s ISNA news agency.
The report was also picked up by other news outlets including Mashregh News, which is affiliated to the Revolutionary Guards.
Al-Quds Day is an annual Iranian anti-Zionist event established in 1979 by Ayatollah Khomeini and which falls this year on August 17. Iran also seeks to export the event to other Muslim countries.
Jalali said that the message of Khomeini’s Al-Quds Day initiative was that the Muslim world must support the “oppressed people of Palestine” in a show of resistance against “the Zionist usurpers.” The Passive Defense Organization head added that the Islamic Revolution was a “beacon of light” and that the plight of the Palestinians was not forgotten.
Calling on Muslims to rally on Al-Quds Day, he expressed hope that the Islamic world would be “strong against the Zionist threat,” adding that the “Islamic front in Syria has been strengthened,” presumably a reference to Iran’s support for Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime.
An Israeli government official responded to Jalali’s comments by saying it was simply a “reaffirmation of what we continually hear from the Iranian leadership.”
The official said that the statement was “not an aberration,” and that Israel was taking the Iranian threat very seriously. “We urge others to do the same,” he said. “The Iranians use unequivocal language, and their words speak for themselves.”