Iran’s top leader clarifies ‘eradicate Israel’ tweet

Khamenei claims that “eradicating” Israel means calling for a referendum among those who lived in Holy Land before 1948. 

By: AP and World Israel News Staff

Iran’s supreme leader has sought to clarify his position on Israel after being accused of threatening its destruction.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei was quoted by the official IRNA news agency late Sunday as saying the Mideast conflict should be resolved through a popular referendum among “all real Palestinians, including Muslims, Jews and Christians” who trace their roots back to before the creation of Israel in 1948.

Khamenei did not address the fate of the vast majority of Jewish Israelis, who claim biblical roots to the land but whose immediate ancestors arrived in the last century.

Khamenei has introduced such notions in the past.

He and other senior Iranian officials have repeatedly called for Israel’s demise.

Earlier this month, a tweet posted on Khamenei’s official Twitter account said Iran’s “stance against Israel is the same stance we have always taken. #Israel is a malignant cancerous tumor in the West Asian region that has to be removed and eradicated: it is possible and it will happen.”

Khamenei calls for Israel’s destruction almost on a weekly basis, while the Islamist regime has repeatedly threatened to wipe Israel off the face of the map.

In June 2017, Iran unveiled a digital clock in Tehran’s center counting down the days to what it says will be the destruction of Israel in 2040.  The time frame appears to stem from comments made in 2015 by Khamenei, who vowed there will be “nothing” left of Israel in 25 years.

Khamenei proclaimed, “You [Israelis] will not see the coming 25 years and, God willing, there will not be something named the Zionist regime in next 25 years.”

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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was asked about the tweet at a press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel the following day.

“The day before yesterday, Ayatollah Khamenei, the ruler of Iran, declared his intention to destroy the State of Israel. Yesterday he explained how he would do this – with the unrestricted enrichment of uranium in order to produce an arsenal of nuclear bombs,” said Netanyahu, who was visiting Europe to press for the revising of the Iranian nuclear deal after the US pulled out.

“We are not surprised. We will not allow Iran to obtain nuclear weapons,” he stated.

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Merkel also condemned the tweet, while insisting the nuclear agreement was the best way to keep Iran from developing atomic weapons.

Khamenei, in his remarks on Sunday, called Netanyahu a “criminal” who had “lied” to European leaders by saying that Iran wanted to annihilate Jews.