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.
Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Wednesday that he was confident "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.
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.
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
The report was also picked up by other news outlets including Mashregh News, which is affiliated to the Revolutionary Guards.
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.
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."
Passive Defense Organization head added that the Islamic Revolution was
a "beacon of light" and that the plight of the Palestinians was not
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."
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."
The official said that it would be
in the interest of Iran's leadership to rein in these comments in at
this time to reduce international pressure, and the fact that Iran's
leaders continue to utter such remarks just shows the degree to which
they actually believe them.
The official, meanwhile, dismissed a
report on a left-wing, anti-Netanyahu blog called Tikun Olam Wednesday
purporting to have "an Israeli briefing document outlining Israel's war
plans against Iran." The blogger, Richard Silverstein, said the document
"feels" like it came "from the shop of national security advisor Yaakov
Amidror, a former general, settler true believer and Bibi confidant.
It could also have been produced by Defense Minister Barak, another
According to Silverstein the document talks
about a coordinated strike that will include an "unprecedented
cyber-attack" that will totally paralyze the Iranian regime, as well as a
barrage of ballistic missiles launched from Israel and Israeli
submarines near the Persian Gulf. IAF planes, according to the
"document," will be armed with electronic warfare gear previously
unknown even to the US that will render the planes "invisible."
government official said there is "a lot of press speculation out
there, and everyone has their 'secret source.' It is not the
government's policy to comment on any piece of speculation."
Jpost.com staff contributed to this report.