The repeated anti-Semitic and anti-Israel views of Iran's leadership place the Iranian regime among the foremost threats to Jews and the state of Israel. Iran's leaders repeatedly demonize the state of Israel and openly call for its destruction at every opportunity. Most notoriously, they describe Israel as a "fake regime" that "must be wiped off the map."
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has termed Zionists "the most detested people in all humanity" and called the extermination of six million Jews during World War II "a myth," claiming that Jews have played up Nazi atrocities during the Holocaust in a bid to extort sympathy for Israel from European governments.
Ahmadinejad's virulently anti-Israel and anti-Semitic rhetoric and Holocaust denial are often matched by other Iranian leaders, and the Iranian regime itself has continued to sponsor anti-Zionism conferences and pseudo-academic lectures and exhibits questioning the fact of the Holocaust.
This report offers a selected, year-by-year compilation of statements by Ahmadinejad and other Iranian leaders on Jews, the Holocaust and Israel in their own words.
November 19, 2013
“[The] Israeli regime, this sinister, unclean rabid dog of the region, says Iran is a threat to the world; No! Israel itself is a threat to the world.”
(Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Supreme Leader of Iran, during a speech to the paralmilitary Basij group)
August 2, 2013
"For the last 400 years, [Zionists] have created slavery, destroyed millions of people, destroyed many families, killed [all human] emotions, and implemented a long period of colonization and enslavement...[The Zionists] have always been after domination in this region [Palestine] for the last 1,000 years, because this region is the gateway to the world... The hope of establishing a Zionist regime was a hope of many years. They had historically planned this, they invaded the Palestinians and occupied their lands...Today all of the political leaders are Zionists. Nobody should be mistaken when we say ‘Zionist’ that we mean ‘Jews’, which there are extremist ones too. [The Zionists] are in the interest of filthy arrogance and all of the central economies of the world and all of the banks are held in their hands...Our second question was, assuming that this incident occurred [Holocaust]in a certain place and by certain people, why does it concern Palestine?...They [Zionists] look happy, but they don’t have a change to survive. They will not be happy for long… They have no place in this region.”
(Outgoing Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, during his final public address as President)
July 6, 2013
"We also brought the discussion of the Holocaust from a human standpoint, and we said that we should try to understand what happened and why must the Palestinians pay the price...The question of the Holocaust shattered the spine of Capitalism, for it was the only sacred element of that system...For the Capitalists, God, the Prophet and religion have no sacred value, and the only axis they all are related to is their fanaticism/intolerance that no one can enter the [discussion] of the Holocaust, which we have mobilized on and spoken about."
(Outgoing Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, during a conference commemerating "Eight Years of Jihad and Celebration of the President and Government Servants")
June 4, 2013
“In America and capitalistic countries, if you are not the candidate of the two or three political parties, or if the wealthy or powerful or Zionist networks don’t support you, under no conditions do you have the ability to advertise.”
(Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Supreme Leader of Iran, during a speech marking the 24th anniversary of the death of the founder of the Islamic Republic, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini)
May 24, 2013
"[The goal of Iran and its allies is to] uproot capitalism, Zionism and Communism, and promote the discourse of pure Islam in the world.”
(Saeed Jalili, Iranian chief nuclear negotiator and leading presidential candidate, during a campaign event in Tehran)
April 30, 2013
"I believe time for hegemonic powers, plundering, crime and Zionism are over... [Zionists are] history’s most uncivilized butchers, who easily humiliate, incarcerate and kill the Palestinian people.”
(Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, during the closing ceremony of the World Conference of Ulama and Islamic Awakening)
April 29, 2013
"The fourth point is that today one of the most dangerous things that threatens the movement of Islamic Awakening is the efforts to foment discord and turn these movements into bloody sectarian, ethnic and national conflicts. Currently, this plot is being seriously pursued by intelligence services of the West and Zionism with the help of petrodollars and bribed politicians from East Asia to North Africa and particularly in the Arab region...Propaganda campaigns of the West and dependent and mercenary media in the region pretend that the destructive war in Syria is a Shia-Sunni conflict and they create a safety margin for the Zionists and the enemies of resistance in Syria and Lebanon. This is while the two sides of the conflict in Syria are not Shia and Sunni, rather they are the supporters and opponents of anti-Zionist resistance.
The fifth point is that one of the standards for judging whether Islamic Awakening movements are on the right path is the positions they adopt on the issue of Palestine. Since sixty years ago up until today, the occupation of Palestine has been the biggest tragedy that has been imposed on the Islamic Ummah.Since the first day up until today, the tragedy of Palestine has been a combination of killings, assassinations, destruction, usurpation and transgression against what is held sacred in Islam. The necessity of putting up a resistance against this warring and usurping enemy and fighting him has been agreed upon by all Islamic denominations and all honest and healthy national currents. Any current in Islamic countries which disregards this religious and national responsibility out of consideration for the domineering demands of America or under the pretext of unreasonable justifications should not expect to be viewed as loyal to Islam and sincere in its nationalistic claims.This is a test. Anybody who does not accept the slogan of liberating Holy Quds and saving the Palestinian nation and Palestinian territories or anybody who sidelines this slogan and turns his back on the camp of resistance, will be condemned. The Islamic Ummah should keep this clear and fundamental standard in mind everywhere and at all times."
(Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Supreme Leader of Iran, during the opening ceremony of the World Conference of Ulama and Islamic Awakening)
April 22, 2013
"The Zionist regime, this cancerous gland, which with much hue and cry had claimed that it had set up an iron dome over the entire occupied Palestine, was faced with the reality within only eight days that none of its formerly woven ropes had remained intact, and that the Fajr 5 Missiles of Hamas which had targeted the heart of the occupied lands had marked another sign of the accelerating downfall and full annihilation of that regime."
(Brigadier General Ahmad-Reza Purdastan, Iran's Joint Chief of Staff, during a meeting in Tehran with a group of allied military attaches)
March 21, 2013
“If they [the Zionists] were to make the mistake of attacking Iran, the Islamic Republic of Iran will raze Tel Aviv and Haifa to the ground.”
(Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Supreme Leader of Iran, during a televised speech marking the Iranian New Year)
February 12, 2013
"We [Iran] explicitly support Hamas and Hezbollah and the oppressed and Muslim people of Palestine, and we do not hide this support … Israel is a cancerous tumor in the region and we are helping the people of Palestine and we even send them weapons… during the 8-day war the people of Gaza dealt Israel a blow to the mouth with this military aid."
(Ali Laijani, Head of the Iranian Parliment, in an interview while visiting Pakistan)