'Zionist capitalists' plague for world even before Israel - Khamenei

"The Zionists have always been a plague, even before establishing the fraudulent Zionist regime," the Iranian leader said.

 Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei address Hajj officials in Iran, June 8, 2022 (photo credit: KHAMENEI.IR)
Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei address Hajj officials in Iran, June 8, 2022
(photo credit: KHAMENEI.IR)

Zionism is a plague for the world of Islam and "Zionist capitalists" were a plague for the whole world, Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei said during a speech on Wednesday.

"Zionist capitalists"

"Today, Zionism is an obvious plague for the world of Islam," said Khamenei, according to a transcript on his English-language website. "The Zionists have always been a plague, even before establishing the fraudulent Zionist regime. Even then, Zionist capitalists were a plague for the whole world. Now they’re a plague especially for the world of Islam."

The Iranian supreme leader called for "the plague of Zionism" to be "exposed" in any way possible.

"These Arab and non-Arab states that shook hands, kissed and held meetings with the Zionists won’t benefit from what they did at all, not at all. This will only be to their loss."

Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei

Normalization is exploitation

"​Muslim nations oppose the normalization of relations with the Zionists, clench their fists and shout slogans against states seeking normalization," added Khamenei. "The Zionist regime exploits these states. They don’t realize it, but we hope they realize it before it’s too late."

 A protester punches his fist through an Israeli flag as Iranians burn flags during a rally marking the annual Quds Day, or Jerusalem Day, on the last Friday of the holy month of Ramadan in Tehran, Iran April 29, 2022 (credit: WANA NEWS AGENCY/REUTERS) A protester punches his fist through an Israeli flag as Iranians burn flags during a rally marking the annual Quds Day, or Jerusalem Day, on the last Friday of the holy month of Ramadan in Tehran, Iran April 29, 2022 (credit: WANA NEWS AGENCY/REUTERS)

Khamenei's statements were also posted on his English-language Twitter account.

Conducting the Hajj

The supreme leader made the comments during a meeting with Iranian officials in charge of conducting Hajj, the Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca.

Khamenei referenced the Iranian citizens and other Muslims embarking on the pilgrimage, demanding that Saudi Arabia assure the security of all pilgrims, especially those from Iran. He warned against allowing "past tragedies" to be repeated.

The supreme leader also asked that Saudi Arabia reconsider the financial costs of the pilgrimage, after a recent increase in costs.

"What are mankind’s problems in the world now? That they don’t know how to coexist, and they act aggressively toward each other. Hajj teaches coexistence. In Hajj people who don’t know each other and who are coming from different cultures coexist in peace."

Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei

Antisemitism on Twitter

Khamenei and officials close with him have repeatedly used antisemitic tropes in anti-Zionist statements.

The supreme leader of Iran has repeatedly called for the "elimination" and "annihilation" of Israel on his Twitter accounts, including by stating that he will "support and assist any nation or any group anywhere who opposes and fights the Zionist regime."

Twitter has categorized Khamenei's past statements as permissible political speech, calling it "foreign policy saber-rattling."

In April, an article on the front page of the Iranian Kayhan newspaper, affiliated with Khamenei, stated that Hitler was "smarter and more courageous" than current European leaders because he "expelled" the Jews from Germany.

The article referenced how the Quran refers to the Jews in the Exodus story, saying that the verses about them are "about a people who are known for their stubbornness, objections and excuses, who consider others as their property, and themselves as superior to others and God's permanent chosen people."