World View: Iran's Supreme Leader Claims to Seek Annihilation of Israel, Not Jews
This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com
- Iran's Supreme Leader wants to annihilate Israel, but not Jews
- Influence of the Great Islamic Revolution and Iran/Iraq war today
- A brief note on Iran's nuclear issue
- Israel extends the Gaza ceasefire by 24 hours, but Hamas does not
Iran's Supreme Leader wants to annihilate Israel, but not Jews
It's not unusual for Iran to call for the annihilation of Israel, and
this week was no different, especially in the context of the war in
Gaza. Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei gave a
speech on Friday, Qods Day (Jerusalem Day), an annual event by Iran to
oppose Israel's control of Jerusalem. His speech called for an end to
These crimes [of Israel in Gaza] defy imagination.
They are the essence of [Israel's] wolf-like and child-killer
regime, for which the only solution is its annihilation and
liquidation. Of course, until that time [when this happens], the
determined and armed Palestinian resistance, and its spread to the
West Bank, are the only way to deal with that bestial regime.
As the Imam [Ayatollah Ruhollah] Khomeini [Khamenei's predecessor]
said, Israel must be liquidated. [But] the annihilation of Israel
as the only way to a real solution does not mean the annihilation
of the Jews in the region. In order [to carry out] this logical
operation [of annihilating Israel] there is a practical apparatus
that the Islamic Republic [of Iran] is presenting to the
international community. Based on this apparatus, which is
acceptable to the nations [of the world], people living in the
region, and belonging to it, will be polled to find out what
regime they prefer. In this way, the occupying and forged regime
[of Israel] will be annihilated. Of course, until that heartless
and child-killer regime is destroyed, the forceful struggle, and
determined and armed resistance, are the [only] path to solving
[the problem of] this destructive regime...
Therefore, it is my belief that the West Bank should be armed just
like Gaza. Anyone who cares about the fate of Palestine, and who
is capable of doing something, should provide arms to the people
[of the West Bank] too...
I can't recall ever seeing this sharp distinction between the
"wolf-like" Israeli regime, which is to be annihilated, and the Jewish
people, who will NOT be annihilated, and will even be permitted to
live in the region. He's actually recommending that all the people in
the region participate in a referendum to decide who will govern them.
This sharp distinction may represent a change in Iran's
Islamic hardline policies.
Before commenting more on this, I'd first like to quote another
Iranian Qods Day speaker, a military commander named Ali Fazli who
says that the Palestinians in Gaza are partners in the resistance
The people of Gaza are undoubtedly Shi'ite... because
the people of Gaza could not have stood against the Zionist regime
and sacrificed itself for two weeks with resistance alone. The
blood spilled in Gaza and Palestine for the defense of all of
Islam connects the Shia and the Sunna, and therefore the
resistance front should unite and preserve its unity against the
There are frequently many bizarre statements coming out of Iran, but
this has to be one of the most bizarre of all time. In no way are the
people of Gaza "undoubtedly Shi'ite." To the contrary, Gaza is
overwhelmingly Sunni Muslim, with a tiny minority of Shia Muslims.
Furthermore, there have been outbreaks of sectarian violence between
Shia and Sunni groups in Gaza, and Shias have complained about the
violence against them. Memri and
Influence of the Great Islamic Revolution and Iran/Iraq war today
When you're commenting on Iran, as I have been for many years, you
have to understand that Iran is in the midst of a generational
Awakening era, like America in the 1960s, and that there's a cavernous
"generation gap" separating the attitudes of the old geezers, the
survivors of the 1979 Great Islamic Revolution and Iran/Iraq war, and
the attitudes of the people in the younger generations that grew up
after the war.
Iran's population was enormously unified by the Great Islamic
Revolution and the Iran/Iraq war, and that's the social climate that
the geezers, like Khamenei, would like to bring about again. A signal
event in 1979 was the takeover of the American embassy in Iran, and
Iran's senior leaders look for ways to repeat that event in one way or
another, to bring about renewed unity today, something that's
impossible in a generational Awakening era.
So what you have in Iran is a senior leadership holding fantastical
beliefs that are totally out of touch with reality.
The principal fantastical belief, which I've written about a number of
times over the years, is Khamenei's fantasy of gaining hegemony over
the entire Arabian peninsula and governing the Muslim world in the
same way that the Ottoman Empire governed prior to its destruction.
We've pointed out that this fantasy can never be realized because the
Sunni Arab population will never agree to be governed by the Shia
The bizarre excerpts from the two Qods Day speeches that I quoted
above are manifestations of these fantasies. In the view of Iran's
geezers, Sunnis, Shias and Jews will be all alike and will all be
governed by a new Persian empire, just like the old Ottoman Empire.
The only thing standing in the way of a new Persian Empire is the
"wolf-like" Zionist regime, which must be annihilated, and the rest
settled by a referendum.
What's new in Khamenei's speech this time is the sharp distinction
between Israel and Jews, where one is to be annihilated and the other
not. However, with or without this distinction, the whole thing is a
bizarre fantasy on the part of the senior Iranian leadership.
A brief note on Iran's nuclear issue
When I write about the attitudes and beliefs of senior Iranian
leadership coming out of the Great Islamic Revolution and the
Iran/Iraq war, it's worthwhile to add a brief note on the nuclear
There is no doubt in my mind that Iran will develop nuclear weapons.
Iran was attacked with weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) in 1988 by Iraq, and Iran would already have developed nuclear weapons if Saddam
Hussein hadn't been expelled by the Iraq war in 2003. Iran sees
itself surrounded by potential enemies, Pakistan and Israel, both having
nuclear weapons. For Iran, developing nuclear weapons is an
However, as I've described before, Iran takes an enormous amount of
pride in not having invaded other countries, even though other
countries have invaded Iran. If you look back at Iran's major wars of
the last century – the Constitutional Revolution of the 1900s decade,
the Great Islamic Revolution of 1979, and the Iran/Iraq war of the
1980s – Iran never attacked anyone else. This is now part of Iran's
DNA, and even the top leadership would be repulsed by the idea of a
preemptive attack on Israel.
So my conclusion is that Iran will develop nuclear weapons as a
defensive measure but has no plans at all to use them on Israel,
which is what is widely believed. In fact, even the Qods Day speeches
quoted above emphasize this fact. Khamenei is calling for the
destruction of the Israeli regime, not the destruction of Jews, and
certainly not the destruction of all the Muslims who also live in and
Israel extends the Gaza ceasefire by 24 hours, but Hamas does not
Hamas has given Israel a new major credibility boost by refusing to
extend Saturday's 12-hour truce by 24 hours, to Sunday midnight GMT,
while Israel has done so unilaterally. In fact, reports indicate that
Gaza was shooting rockets at Tel Aviv within 3 minutes after the
Although Israel is observing a unilateral ceasefire, it is continuing
military operations against the tunnels on the border between Gaza and
Israel, since these tunnels are used by Hamas to enter Israel for
terrorist operations. BBC
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