'Israel must be destroyed': Khamenei
After giving Iran $7 billion for agreeing to negotiate about its nuclear program, you would think the government would be grateful and refrain from using their usual eliminationist rhetoric regarding Israel.
Alas, gratitude apparently only goes so far.
Fars News Agency, a media outlet run by the Iranian state, reported today that Khamenei addressed the conflict in Gaza in a meeting with Iranian college students.
“These crimes which are beyond imagination and show the true nature of the wolfish and child killer regime, which the only solution is its destruction,” the ayatollah declared to his audience. “However, until that time, the expansion of the armed resistance of the Palestinians of the West Bank is the only way to confront this wild regime.”
Khamenei then criticized America, claiming its defense of Israel is “shameful,” and suggested that its support affects Iran’s behavior towards America.
“The anti-American and anti-West view in Iran is a logical view based on experience and a righteous calculation,” he said.
Referring to Israel, Khamenei added, “This event is a sample of the ‘violent policies with iron fist’ which the fake and illegitimate regime [Israel] in its 66 years of existence has repeatedly and proudly conducted.”
He then emphasized, “As said by Imam Khomeini [the founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran] Israel must be destroyed…However, until that time with the help of God for this cruel and murderous regime to be destroyed, strong confrontation with steadfast armed resistance is the only solution against this destructive regime.”
Khamenei then mocked Israel for looking for a ceasefire agreement, stating that Israel is powerless against the resistance of Hamas, and once again, strongly attacked America for supporting Israel.
“We believe that the West Bank needs to be armed just like Gaza and those interested in the future of Palestine must become active in this field [guerrilla warfare] so that the suffering of the Palestinian people through their strength and their weakness due to the Zionist regime is reduced,” he said. “Some Western countries including America and filthy England defend with clarity the crimes that no ordinary person would. The President of America in the face of these child killings, destruction, torture and suffering of the people in Gaza, with a comical logic states that Israel has the right to defend itself! Don’t the Palestinians have the right to defend their lives and security?”
Iran has not been negotiating an end to their nuclear weapons program. Any "progress" in the negotiations has been centered on non-bomb making aspects of their nuclear program. The IAEA has said as much, in that Iran is still insisting on hampering the nuclear watchdog's unfettered access to Iranian sites.
A recent report suggests that the Islamic Republic has yet to address the concerns of the International Atomic Agency on work developing detonators used as an explosive device for atomic bombs. The regime, which originally denied such work, has stated the experiment as for civilian purposes.
Does this sound like a regime ready to negotiate an end to its weapons program?
The question, "Are they crazy enough to use the bomb?" is moot. The fact that the question can be asked at all is what will drive the debate in Israel over whether they should take out Iran's nuclear infrastructure following the inevitable collapse of the negotiations.