Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has again called for the destruction of Israel. His remarks, made this week at the annual World Conference of Ulama and Islamic Awakening, were printed on Ahmadinejad’s official website and conveyed via Iranian state media:
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Zionism and the Zionist regime will vanish and called for Muslim’s unity to make reform and administer justice in the world… He said, “I believe time for hegemonic powers, plundering, crime and Zionism are over.”… President also stated that the Palestinian territories have been occupied for over 60 years by the Zionists — “the history’s most uncivilized butchers, who easily humiliate, incarcerate and kill the Palestinian people.” He went on to say that the Zionist regime does not want peace in the region and that the era of Zionism, oppression and tyranny has come to an end.
Ahmadinejad’s statement comes in the immediate aftermath of multiple annihilationist threats leveled by other Iranian officials. It comes a year after Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei declared that Israel is a “real cancerous tumor” that will be excised.
The last decade has seen the development of a cottage industry in the U.S. foreign policy community dedicated to denying that Iranian leaders make genocidal threats against Israel. Statements by Ahmadinejad comparing Israel to a “cancerous tumour” and declarations by the president to the effect that Iran is prepared to “destroy” Israel are brushed aside as mistranslations.
The most recent round of Iranian declarations are likely to deepen skepticism regarding such analysis.
The “Final Declaration” of the conference was also openly hostile to Israel:
All Muslims of the world and in particular Ulema shall maintain their vigilance against the plots hatched by the Zionist regime and the global arrogance for weakening the Islamic resistance front and they shall not allow the resistance front that is in the front line of combat against occupation become subject to division and proscription. Recent victories of Muslims in Lebanon, Gaza, and Iraq proved that the path to final victory passes only through resistance.