By Y. Mansharof, E. Kharrazi, Y. Lahat, and A. Savyon*
In advance of Quds (Jerusalem) Day — which is today, July 25, 2014 — and against the backdrop of the continued fighting in Gaza between Israel and the Palestinian resistance organizations in Gaza — Hamas and Islamic Jihad — Iran’s leaders have, in speeches, called implicitly and explicitly for the annihilation of the State of Israel. Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei also stressed the need to arm the West Bank, while Mohsen Rezaei, former commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) and secretary of Iran’s Expediency Council, called on the resistance organizations in Gaza to kidnap Israelis in order to stop Israel from firing on Gaza, and promised all kinds of military aid to the Palestinians. Also, Basij commander Mohammad Reza Naqdi called for finding a way “to end the story of the Zionist regime” with a military defense alliance of the resistance forces against Israel, or with an attack on Israel by the Arab states that have Western weapons.
With the revival of the resistance axis, and Hamas’s renewed and open participation in it, senior officials in the Iranian leadership — Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, Majlis speaker Ali Larijani, and a top IRGC official — held phone conversations with Hamas political bureau head Khaled Mash’al, in which Tehran expressed its willingness to aid Hamas in all necessary ways in the conflict with Israel. Basij deputy commander Ali Fazli even called the Gaza Palestinians “Shi’ites” and stressed that the Palestinian blood connects both the Sunnis and the Shi’ites to the resistance axis.
Iran’s leaders also harshly attacked the West, and particularly the U.S., for supporting Israel. It should be noted that even on the Gaza issue, the struggle between the ideological and the pragmatic camps in Iran is evident; the ideological camp bashed the pragmatic camps’ mouthpieces for not giving top billing to Israel’s “crimes” in Gaza, and its leaders also called on the pragmatic camp to prove its loyalty to Islam by calling publicly for Israel’s annihilation.
But even before the ideological camp voiced its criticism of the pragmatic camp, its leaders, headed by Expediency Council head Hashemi Rafsanjani and President Hassan Rohani, and particularly the Jomhouri-ye Eslami daily, came out strongly against Israel, to prove their loyalty to the ideals of the Islamic Revolution. Rafsanjani even publicly criticized President Obama.
This paper will review the main points of the speeches by top Iranian political and military officials, and will also present a MEMRI TV clip of Khamenei’s call for Israel’s annihilation and a report on Islamic Jihad snipers in Gaza training with Iranian weapons.
Supreme Leader Khamenei: The “Only Solution” For Israel “Is Its Annihilation And Liquidation”; “The Determined And Armed Palestinian Resistance And Its Spread To The West Bank Are The Only Way To Deal With That Bestial Regime”
On July 23, 2014, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei called for the annihilation of Israel, twice stressing the need for arming the West Bank. Khamenei also claimed that he was not talking about the annihilation of the Jews in the region, but only about the annihilation of the Zionist regime. He also came out harshly against the U.S. and its leaders who support Israel, and against the liberal Western culture, and added that “anyone who cares about the fate of Palestine… should provide arms to the people [of the West Bank] too” (see MEMRI TV Clip No. 4366).
To view this clip on MEMRI TV, click here
He said: “These crimes [of Israel in Gaza] defy imagination. They are the essence of [Israel’s] wolf-like and child-killer regime, for which the only solution is its annihilation and liquidation. Of course, until that time [when this happens], the determined and armed Palestinian resistance, and its spread to the West Bank, are the only way to deal with that bestial regime.
“At the same time, America’s and the West’s impudent defense of the Zionist crimes must impact… the ‘consciousness, outlook, and approach’ of all of us vis-à-vis the West. We must realize that this is the reality and the truth of America. With its mighty roar on Quds Day, the Iranian nation shows that [it] is the friend of the oppressed and [that] the enemy is the oppressor…
“As the Imam [Ayatollah Ruhollah] Khomeini said, Israel must be liquidated. [But] the annihilation of Israel as the only way to a real solution does not mean the annihilation of the Jews in the region. In order [to carry out] this logical operation [of annihilating Israel] there is a practical apparatus that the Islamic Republic [of Iran] is presenting to the international community.
Based on this apparatus, which is acceptable to the nations [of the world], people living in the region, and belonging to it, will be polled to find out what regime they prefer. In this way, the occupying and forged regime [of Israel] will be annihilated. Of course, until that heartless and child-killer regime is destroyed, the forceful struggle, and determined and armed resistance, are the [only] path to solving [the problem of] this destructive regime…
“Therefore, it is my belief that the West Bank should be armed just like Gaza. Anyone who cares about the fate of Palestine, and who is capable of doing something, should provide arms to the people [of the West Bank] too…”
“The leaders of the arrogant countries do not realize that in their defense of the crimes of the filthy and destructive Zionsts they are losing their honor and the honor of their countries, and that history will judge them for their collaboration in these tragedies… The root of this defense of the crimes of the Zionists [lies] in the democratic and liberal regimes and in the logic of the most minimal moral values, in which there is not even a tinge of humanity…”
Calls In Iran To Arm The West Bank
On July 24, 2014, Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Committee member Esmail Kowsar called for arming the West Bank: “One of the ways to help Palestine is to arm West Bank residents so they can stand against the Zionist regime.”
Also on July 24, the Basij released a communique calling on the government to urgently submit a bill to the Majlis calling for the arming of the Palestinians in the West Bank in accordance with Khamenei’s statement.
Iranian President Rohani: “Oppression And Occupation Cannot Remain Forever”; “Muslims Will Always March On The Path Of The Jerusalem Ideal Until The Day This Land Is Liberated”
In a July 22, 2014 message, Iranian President Hassan Rohani hinted at the annihilation of Israel: “The [Iranian] people’s participation in Quds Day is the implementation of orders by the Imam [Khomeini] and its meaning is to announce to the world that Al-Aqsa Mosque is the Muslims’ primary qibla [direction of prayer], that Palestine is a sacred land for Muslims, and that this land and the refugees of the Palestinian nation will never be forgotten.
Muslims will always march on the path of the Jerusalem ideal until the day this land is liberated, the Palestinian people return to their land, and Muslims freely pray at Al-Aqsa Mosque. With its presence, the [Iranian] people will show the world that oppression and occupation cannot remain forever, and that a nation struggling to liberate its land will eventually emerge victorious…
“[The Palestinians] defend themselves while fasting [during Ramadan] and besieged against this oppressive and blood-letting regime, and do not surrender to it, but rather stay the course. Ultimately, the oppressed Palestinian people will win this battle [that has so far lasted] 65 years. The Iranian nation has always and will always support oppressed nations, and especially the oppressed Palestinian people in Gaza, and I hope we will soon witness this people’s victory over the aggressors and oppressors.”
Basij Commander: “We Must Find A Way To Open Palestine’s Borders And End The Story Of The Zionist Regime”
In a July 22, 2014 speech, Basij commander Mohammad Reza Naqdi called for finding a way “to end the story of the Zionist regime” and therefore called on the resistance forces in Lebanon, Syria, and Palestine to sign a military defense pact against Israel; on Arab countries to use their armies “to destroy Israel”; and on the Arab oil producing states to withdraw their funds from Western banks in order to apply pressure to stop Israel from attacking the Palestinians. He also expressed sorrow that Iranian forces are unable to fight shoulder to shoulder with the Palestinians against Israel: “No one is committing savage crimes like these; this behavior can only be found among wild animals. The oppressive Zionists are only called humans. They are actually wild animals that do not hesitate to commit any inhuman crime and have no honor or human values…
“With their resistance, the people in Gaza have proven that the oppressive Zionist regime’s power is crumbling… The people in Gaza have proven, with empty hands and wonderful resistance, and in many wars, that the entire force of this [Israeli] army is crumbling. Although equipped with the world’s most advanced weapons, this is the most cowardly military the world has ever seen, since when one of their soldiers is wounded and falls to the ground under fire from Palestinian warriors, this army, with all its supposed strength, abandons him and flees…
“The pure blood of the Palestinian martyrs of the resistance will expose these criminals and their arrogant supporters among the peoples of the world… We must find a solution. A billion and a half billion Muslims cannot sit silently in the face of a few criminal Zionists and postpone the elimination of this cancerous growth from the map of the world. For the sake of the struggle against external threats, and especially the very real dangers of the Zionist regime, popular resistance forces in Palestine, Lebanon, and Syria must sign a defense pact under which any attack on any one of them will be considered an attack on all of them, and they will join forces against the aggressors.
“For which threat or which enemy are the large armies of countries in the region, which paid billions of dollars for the world’s most advanced weapons, saving their strength? Any one of these armies is sufficient to totally erase Israel from the planet. If the Egyptian army does not intend to act against the oppressive Israeli regime to defend Islam and the Palestinian Arab Muslim people, then the proud Muslim youth of Iran, India, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and more, are prepared for the final battle against Israel. The problem here is that they do not have access to the borders of the occupied nation of Palestine.
“If each of the oil-rich Muslim countries in the region, such as Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the UAE, Qatar, and others, would decide to withdraw their funds from Western banks, then immediately upon announcing this decision, the Zionist regime’s attacks on the people of Gaza would cease.
“Today, we very much regret that we are sitting here [in Iran] and are not entering the battlefield to fight shoulder to shoulder with the men and women resisting this criminal enemy in Gaza. Of course, we cannot sit idly by and watch the disasters and crimes against Palestinian Muslims, and make do with expressions of solidarity. We must find a way to open Palestine’s borders and end the story of the Zionist regime.”
Expediency Council Secretary: “10-50 Zionist Hostages In Each [Palestinian] City Are The Best Defensive Battery For That City”
In an July 24, 2014 open letter to the commanders of Hamas’s military arm, the Izz Al-Din Al-Qassam Brigades, Expediency Council Chairman Mohsen Rezaei guaranteed Iranian military aid to Gaza: “The defeat of the Zionists in the current battles will be marked as a turning point in the history of the Palestinian struggle. You must show the murderous criminal Zionists that the resistance is invincible and that Israel is at the end of its road…
“As a representative of the commanders of the Iran-Iraq [1980-88] war, I stress that we will support and defend [you] with all our might and all our means… Your battle rages on, the weapons and gear that you need will reach your hands in every way possible…
“Undoubtedly, the Zionists have no ability to defend themselves against the [resistance’s] guerilla attacks. Ten to 50 Zionist hostages in each [Palestinian] city are the best defensive battery for that city. Clearly in such a situation the occupiers will have no choice but to surrender to you.”
Deputy Basij Commander: “The People Of Gaza Are Undoubtedly Shi’ite”
On July 24, 2014, Deputy Basij commander Ali Fazli said that the Palestinians in Gaza are partners in the resistance axis, and even called them “Shi’ites”: “The people of Gaza are undoubtedly Shi’ite… because the people of Gaza could not have stood against the Zionist regime and sacrificed itself for two weeks with resistance alone. The blood spilled in Gaza and Palestine for the defense of all of Islam connects the Shi’a and the Sunna, and therefore the resistance front should unite and preserve its unity against the arrogance.”