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Monday, November 07, 2005

Same Old Shit from Iran-New President's Remarks Nothing New in Muslim World
In 1979, Khomeini declared the last Friday of Ramadan as al-Quds Day. This is the annual event in which Iranians protest against Israel and for the liberation of Jerusalem [al-Quds]. Iran's leadership continued to encourage anti-Israeli activity and Supreme Leader Khamenei has even referred to Israel as a "cancerous tumor".

While Jews are a recognized religious minority, allegations of official discrimination are frequent. The Government's anti-Israel policies, along with a perception among radical Muslims that all Jewish citizens support Zionism and the State of Israel, create a hostile atmosphere for the small community. Recent anti-American and anti-Israeli demonstrations have included the denunciation of "Jews," as opposed to the past practice of denouncing only "Israel" and "Zionism," adding to the threatening atmosphere for the community.

Under its clerical regime, Iran has also become the world’s most aggressive state sponsor of terrorism. In particular, Iran has increased its support for groups that seek the destruction of Israel. These include the Lebanese Hezbollah and such Palestinian groups as Hamas, the Palestine Islamic Jihad, and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command. Iran has supplied these groups with funding, safe haven, training, and weapons. It has also encouraged Hezbollah and the Palestinian groups to coordinate their planning and increase their terrorist activities. Iran has also provided support to terrorist groups in the Persian Gulf, Africa, Turkey, and Central Asia. But in contrast to its increasing support for anti-Israel groups, Iran’s support for other terrorist groups has declined in recent years.

In December 2000, Ayatollah Khamene’i said that "Iran’s stance has always been clear on this ugly phenomenon (Israel). We have repeatedly said that this cancerous tumor of a state should be removed from the region." In February 2001, Khamene’i stated that, "It is the mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran to erase Israel from the map of the region." In spring 2001 Khamene’i referred to the Israeli government this way: “the Zionist regime, as the symbol of bloodthirstiness [and] barbarianism,” and to its leaders as “wild beasts”.

In 2000 Iran’s so-called "moderate" President Mohammad Khatami called Israel an "illegal state." Last August he told a visiting Yasir Arafat that the peace process was doomed to fail and that, "All of Palestine must be liberated." On 25 April 2001, Khatami said Israel "is a parasite in the heart of the Muslim world." Under reformist President Khatami's eight-year tenure, Iran had shown signs of easing its hostility towards Israel. At that time Iranian officials had privately indicated that Tehran might not object to a two-state solution to the Arab-Israel dispute, if Palestinians supported it.

In 2000 Iran announced the formation of the International Anti-Zionist Movement, an eight-member alliance designed to undermine the peace process. The head of the organization is Mohsen Rezaie, the former head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard and a close associate of Iran’s Supeme Leader, Ayatollah Khamene’i. A statement sent by the new organization to the heads of all Islamic states said, in part, "We ask you, before the vast storm of Islamic countries, to mobilize to destroy Israel and create problems for those governments who defend it..." Rezai said that, "Iran will continue its campaign against Zionism until Israel is completely eradicated."
"The Protocols of the Elders of Zion," a text debunked many years ago as a fraud perpetrated by Czarist intelligence agents, continued to appear in Iran, not as a hoax, but as established fact. During 2004 many Iranian newspapers celebrated the one-hundredth anniversary of the publishing of the anti-Semitic "Protocols of the Elders of Zion."

Concurrent with the World Qods Day and 13th of Aban (November 4), the student movement in 2004 held a series of conferences titled "World Without the US" with the aim of triggering an anti-arrogance wave at the national and international levels. Mohammad Baqer Zol Qadr, Deputy Chief of the Revolutionary Guards said "When we talk about the world without America, we mean a world governed by peace and justice, and in which there will be no sign of insecurity, troop movements, and attacking other nations. Unfortunately, today America is the symbol of these deficiencies and distortions."

A central headquarters has been formed to organize provincial and international headquarters to simultaneously hold a series of programs on “World Without Zionism“ in Iran and abroad. These programs will be conducted in different forms, including holding nationwide conferences on the issue, Qods vigil ceremony and special programs during rallies marking the World Qods Day.

The Union for Islamic Associations of Students in order to address Iranian students, particularly the Muslim youth and young adults, launched a website on "World Without Zionism" in Persian, English and Arabic. Two books titled "World Without the US" and "World Without Zionism" were also published and distributed throughout Iran.

In October 2005 the Union of Islamic Students Associations and Iran's House of Cartoons jointly sponsored a global competition on caricature, painting and graphic design under the main theme of "A World without Zionism." Students between the ages of 7 and 18 were invited to submit their art works to the organizing committee of the competition. The competition also focused on the themes "A World without America," "A Mirage Named Zionism," "The Wishes of a Palestinian Student," and "The Intifada."

On 26 October 2005, speaking at a seminar entitled "World without Zionism," President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said: "God willing, with the force of God behind it, we shall soon experience a world without the United States and Zionism." Echoing the words of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, Ahmadinejad said "As the Imam said, Israel must be wiped off the map."
Ahmadinejad said the "new wave of confrontations generated in Palestine and the growing turmoil in the Islamic world would in no time wipe Israel away ... The world arrogant powers founded the Zionist regime at the heart of the Muslim world as a base for their own expansionist intentions.... [they] turned the Zionist regime occupying Jerusalem into a staging-ground to dominate the Islamic world. ...They have created a base, from where they can expand their rule over the entire Islamic world; it has no other purpose other than this."

Ahmadinejad said that "Today, supporting the Palestinian nation and objective is a definite and indispensable principle for continued campaign to achieve victory. The Palestinian issue has not ended. It would end when a government belonging to the Palestinian people takes over, the homeless return home and a free election is held to form a government representing all people."
Ahmadinejad said that those from faraway countries who are in Palestine with the hope of plundering this land have no right to make decision about the country. The president called on the public and the Palestinian combatant groups to be vigilant and added that if they manage to overcome the new conspiracies of the world arrogant powers, the way would be paved for destruction of the Zionist regime and establishment of a national Palestinian government.

He said, "There continues a historic war between the World Arrogance and the Islamic world, the roots of which go back hundreds of years. In this historic war the battle grounds have shifted many times. On some occasions, the Muslims had the upper hand and advanced. Regrettably, in the past three hundred years, the Islamic World has been on the retreat in the face of the World Arrogance. One hundred years ago the last trench of Islam fell, when the oppressors went towards the creation the Zionist regime. It is using it as a fort to spread its aims in the heart of the Islamic world. ... The skirmishes in the occupied land are part of a war of destiny. The outcome of hundreds of years of war will be defined in Palestinian land ... Some wonder whether there would come a day when one would see a world without the United States and Zionism ... This slogan and goal is one which is attainable and could definitely be realized. There is no doubt that the new wave in Palestine will soon wipe off this disgraceful blot [Israel] from the face of the Islamic world."

Ahmadinejad stressed "Our dear Imam [Khomeini] ordered that the occupying regime in Jerusalem be wiped off the face of the earth. This was a very wise statement. The issue of Palestine is not one which we could compromise on ... I warn the heads of all nations of the Islamic world to beware of this trap. If some, who are under pressure by the dominating powers, follow a misguided policy or are naive, or selfish or have earthly desires, recognize this regime (Israel), they should know that they would be burnt in the fire of the Islamic Ummah (Nation) and will bear an eternal stigma on their foreheads." He further expressed his firm belief that the new wave of confrontations generated in Palestine and the growing turmoil in the Islamic world would in no time wipe Israel away.

On 26 October 2005 Islamic Revolutionary Guards spokesman Seyyed Massoud Jazayeri said "If this cancer (Israel) is not removed from the Islamic world, Muslims will sustain immense harm ... This wound was opened more than half a century ago and has still not been healed, because in the Islamic world, some leaders and regimes, which have not been democratically elected by their own people, continue to rule, with the help of Western imperialism. A world without Zionism, and the obliteration of Israel from the face of the earth, is not only the objective of Iran, but of the whole Muslim world."

Jazayeri pointed out that these goals had been underlined by the country's revolutionary leader, Ayatollah Khomeini, over two decades ago. "At the time, many thought they were just propaganda slogans, but by reiterating them now, president Ahmadinejad has reminded us that they involve a strategy shared by most of the Islamic world."

On 27 October 2005 Foreign Minister Manuchehr Mottaki [Manouchehr Mottaki] wondered why the unchanged Iranian stance had caused so much fuss. He said that Ahmadinejad had merely quoted what Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini had said more than 26 years ago. "The late Imam (Khomeini), right after the 1979 revolution, announced that Iran did not acknowledge the Zionist regime (Israel) and the apartheid regime of South Africa and this diplomatic principle has not changed since - and was also voiced by the president. ... The remarks by the president were not reflected (in the Western press) correctly - especially the president's remarks on a political solution to the dilemma were not mentioned ... President Ahmadinejad believes in a political settlement of the dilemma in Palestine and follows, in line with the Iranian establishment, the solution of a referendum by all Palestinians, including the refugees, for choosing the future political system of their occupied country ... The comments expressed by the president is the declared and specific policy of the Islamic Republic of Iran. We don't recognize the Zionist regime and don't consider it legitimate." (Source: GlobalSecurity)

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