At a time of heightened international tensions over Iran’s nuclear program, Iranian leaders have been using the occasion of annual Jerusalem Day demonstrations, taking place today in cities around the world, to amplify their threats against the Jewish state.
- Speaker of parliament Ali Larijani opened Thursday’s parliamentary session declaring, “God willing, this movement of the Muslims toward the goal of ending and removing this cancerous tumor called Israel will be accomplished.”
- Another call to annihilate Israel, made by Iran’s highest authority figure during a speech on Wednesday evening, was broadcast on state television. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the final decision maker on all of Iran’s policies, said, “The illegitimate Zionist state will definitely be eradicated from the face of the world.”
- In an August 1 meeting with representative from Islamic countries in Tehran, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad stated that “Jerusalem Day is the only way to liberate Palestine.” He then added, “It has now been some 400 years that a horrendous Zionist clan has been ruling over major world affairs; [they] are behind the scenes in the major power circles, in political, media, financial, and banking organizations in the world…”
Such anti-Israel statements from top level Iranian officials usually intensify in the days before Jerusalem Day, a day of protest first started in 1979 by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini against Israel. The day is held on the last Friday of Ramadan and is observed throughout the Muslim world.