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Irans supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.(Photo by: AFP PHOTO / HO / KHAMENEI.IR)
Khamenei: Israel illegitimate, referendum should decide fate of Palestine
Khamenei also attacked Arab states that have strengthened ties with Israel in the face of the perceived Iranian threat.
Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said that Israel is an illegitimate state that "will soon cease to exist" and reiterated his call for a referendum to determine the future of Palestine, Iran's semi-official Iranian Student's News Agency reported Friday.

"The Zionist regime's problem is its lack of legitimacy; it is a regime that was established on hollow foundations," Khamenei said in a speech delivered Friday to leading government officials, members of the public, and ambassadors from Muslim countries on the occasion of Eid al-Fitr, the holiday that marks the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

"With divine favor and the aid of Muslim nations, it will surely be destroyed and perish," Khamenei said.

"One of the basic goals behind the founding of this regime is fomenting dissension and creating problems among Muslim nations," Khamenei added, "but all historical experience shows that the Zionist regime, which faces a problem of legitimacy, will not remain."

Khamenei also attacked Arab states that have strengthened ties with Israel in the face of the perceived Iranian threat.

"The fact that some of the weak-minded countries of the region have established open or secret diplomatic relations with this occupying regime or support America's moving of its embassy to Jerusalem will not solve the problems of the Zionist regime," he said.

Khamenei reiterated the sentiments in a post on his official English-language Twitter account Friday.

"The #ZionistRegime will not last. All historical experiences imply that with absolute certainty. Undoubtedly the Zionist regime will perish in the not-so far future," he wrote.

Khamenei also called, in the speech and on Twitter, for a referendum to be held by "real Palestinians," including Muslims, Christians and Jews — referring to Jews who lived in the country before Israel's founding in 1948 —  that would determine the nature of the post-Israel government of Palestine.

"Like all free countries, people of #Palestine--real Palestinians--should be polled to determine the political system of Palestine; that governing body will decide on future of immigrants in Palestine. There's no other solution and this leads to the elimination of the Zionist regime," Khamenei wrote on Twitter.

Khamenei first proposed the idea of a referendum to determine the future of Palestine in a speech to university professors on June 13.

Tensions between Iran and Israel have heightened in recent months over Iran's involvement in Syria's ongoing civil war and the America's withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear accord, a move long advocated and encouraged by Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
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