Tehran Regime Walks Back Zarif Claim That Iranian Leaders Have Never Called for Israel’s Destruction
Iranian leaders have never called for Israel’s destruction, the Tehran regime’s foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, claimed in an interview this past weekend.
Speaking with the French newspaper Le Point, Zarif — the so-called “moderate” face of the regime during the talks that led to the 2015 nuclear deal with six world powers — stated, “When did we say we want to annihilate Israel? Find one person that has said so. Nobody has said that.”
On Monday, however, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi asserted that Zarif had been responding to a “trick question” and that his words were in line with the Islamic Republic’s policies, the semi-official state news agency Mehr reported.
According to Ghasemi, “What Zarif said in his interview with Le Point about the Zionist regime’s annihilation was the repeat and exact utterance of the remarks” made by late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, as well as his successor, Ali Khamenei, who predicted that Israel “would cease to exist in 25 years.”
A number of Iranian officials — including Khamenei, current President Hassan Rouhani and Rouhani’s predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad — have described Israel as a “cancerous tumor” that must be removed from the Middle East.
Regime figures have also threatened to bring ruin to the cities of Tel Aviv and Haifa if Israel took military action against Iran.