'Iran won't recognize Zionist usurper regime,' senior Khamenei aide vows

Comment was made by Ali Akbar Velayati, a senior adviser to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

August 30, 2015 07:01
1 minute read.
Members of Iran's Basij militia march

Members of Iran's Basij militia march during a parade to commemorate the anniversary of the Iran-Iraq war in Tehran. (photo credit: REUTERS)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user uxperience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew, Ivrit
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Repor
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

A top aide to Iran's supreme leader scoffed at the notion over the weekend that his government has changed its stance toward Israel.

Ali Akbar Velayati, a senior adviser to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, told Iranian news media on Saturday that Iran will never recognize Israel, refuting suggestions from British Foreign Minister Philip Hammond that Tehran may one day be open to doing so.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.

"Iran will not recognize Israel," Velayati told a group of Pakistani religious delegates. "We still emphasize that Israel is a usurper and occupying regime and we will not come along with it."

Hammond, who visited Tehran last week to re-christen the British embassy for the first time since it was shut down four years ago, said the current Iranian government had displayed a more nuanced approach than its predecessor to a long-running conflict with Israel, adding that Tehran would be judged on its actions, not its words.

"What we're looking for is behavior from Iran, not only towards Israel but towards other players in the region, that slowly rebuilds their sense that Iran is not a threat to them," he said.

Hammond's remarks prompted Iranian officials to quickly dismiss any suggestions that a change of direction toward Israel was in the offing.

"We have rejected such media hype (before) and during Mr. Hammond's trip to Iran, we just discussed potentials of bilateral relations, fighting extremism and terrorism, etc.," a spokesperson for the Iranian Foreign Ministry told reporters in Tehran.

"There were no talks on the Zionist regime and the report that Iran has changed its position is denied," said the official.

Another top Iranian official was equally adamant in dismissing talk of Tehran's softening of its anti-Israel stance.

"Our positions against the usurper Zionist regime have not changed at all," Hossein Sheikholeslam, the parliament speaker's foreign policy adviser, told Iranian media. "Israel should be annihilated and this is our ultimate slogan."

Related Content

July 16, 2018
Mass protests sweep Iraq, target pro-Iran militias and parties