Iran's leadership—ever since the shah fell in 1979—has never made any secret of its desire to see Israel wiped off the map.
Previous President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called for such an outcome in nearly every one of his speeches in the eight years he served until 2013.
Now, however, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has decided to quantify the supposedly logical reasons for destroying the Jewish nation. Long known for his anti-Israel rhetoric, Khamenei has issued what appears to be his most detailed tirade to date in a Twitter post titled "9 key questions about the elimination of Israel."
"Why should & how can #Israel be eliminated? Ayatollah Khamenei's answer to 9 key questions. #HandsOffAlAqsa," read the introduction to Khamenei's tweet, posted Saturday. The hashtag #HandsOffAlAqsa referred to the recent tensions between Arabs and Jews at the Temple Mount.
As part of the tweet, Khamenei proposed a referendum that would serve as a means for the elimination of Israel.
In his tweet, the first question the ayatollah seeks to answer is, "Why should the Zionist regime be eliminated?" His answer: "During its 66 years of life so far, the fake Zionist regime has tried to realize its goals by means of infanticide, homicide, violence and iron fist while boasts about it blatantly."
Another question: "What is the most urgent action to take to militarily confront Israel?" Khamenei's answer in part, "The West Bank should be armed like Gaza and those who are interested in Palestine's destiny should take action to arm the people of the West Bank ... ."
"So far as I know, Khamenei's idea of a referendum has not been proposed by the Islamic Republic of Iran until now. It suggests that the Iranian leadership wishes to make common cause with the leftists also wanting to see Israel disappear," Dr. Daniel Pipes, founder and president of the Middle East Forum, told jns.org.
In addition to the referendum, the Iranian leader called for Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza to fight against Israel, rejecting any U.N.-moderated negotiation.
Earlier this year, Iran had announced that it was increasing its effort to arm Palestinians in the West Bank.
"Arming the West Bank has started and weapons will be supplied to the people of this region," said Iranian paramilitary network chief Mohammad Reza Naqdi, the Times of Israel reported.
The timing of Khamenei's tweet also comes as the P5+1 nations—the U.S., U.K., France, Russia, China and Germany—are nearing a negotiated solution with Iran ahead of the Nov. 24 diplomatic deadline. On Monday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu cautioned world powers not to rush into a bad deal with Iran on its nuclear program.
Referencing Khamenei's plan, Netanyahu said in a statement that he sent a letter to the P5+1 countries that highlights Iran's desire to destroy Israel.
"[Khamenei is] publicly calling for the annihilation of Israel as he is negotiating a nuclear deal with the P5+1 countries," Netanyahu said.
"There is no moderation in Iran," he added. "It is unrepentant, unreformed, it calls for Israel's eradication, it promotes international terrorism, and as the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) report just said, it continues to deceive the international community about its nuclear weapons program. This terrorist regime in Iran must not be allowed to become a nuclear threshold power. I call on the P5+1 countries—don't rush into a deal that would let Iran rush to the bomb."
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