The Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs took to Buzzfeed on Tuesday to outline what the article’s headline described as “20 Threats Iranian Leaders Made Against Israel in 2013,” with the subsequent story conveying an array of statements documenting that “Iranian leaders are consistent in their anti-Israel rhetoric, clear about their hostile intentions, and certain of their apocalyptic beliefs.”
Topping the list were remarks from Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who threatened to “raze Tel Aviv and Haifa to the ground,” and President Hassan Rouhani, who declared that the Iranian government must prepare for “the day the occupying Zionist regime is no longer in the region.”
Statements from commander of the Basij Brig. Gen. Mohammad Reza Naqdi, who said that Iran will fight “until the annihilation of Israel,” and Gen. Mohammad Hejazi Deputy Chief of Staff, who said that “if Israel acts foolishly, Tel Aviv and Haifa will be annihilated,” respectively took the fifth and fourth slots.
The article concluded with animated video from Iranian state television envisioning missile strikes on Israeli civilians and soldiers.
Orde Kittrie – a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and a tenured professor of law at Arizona State – tweeted:
Chillingly inconsistent with “the spirit of Geneva.” 20 Threats Iranian Leaders Made Against Israel in 2013. http://t.co/jGFXKrPYT9 …
— Orde Kittrie (@ordefk) December 26, 2013
The phrase “spirit of Geneva” is a gesture toward declarations made by Iranian leaders, and backed by some U.S. analysts, complaining that while Congressional legislation imposing sanctions on Iran six months from now does not technically violate the Joint Plan of Action (JPA) announced in Geneva, such legislation should be put off anyway because it violates the “spirit” of the agreement.
Skeptics have suggested that it seems churlish for Iran to stake out such a position. Not only do the Islamic republic’s top leaders celebrate actual and threatened conventional warfighting – the Iranian Revolutionary Guard this week tweeted that “the easiest way to send infidels to hell is through ‘barrel of death’,” a reference to shrapnel-packed Syrian barrel bombs that have killed and maimed thousands – but Iranian scientists have continued to enrich uranium and advance their plutonium program while final details of the JPA are being worked out.
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