ADL Says Iranian Leader’s Harsh Rhetoric Against Israel Casts ‘Ugly Pall’ Over Geneva Talks

New York, NY, November 20, 2013 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) said the latest harsh rhetoric coming from Iran’s supreme leader, in which he referred to Israel as an unclean rabid dog and a threat to the world, “casts an ugly pall” over the nuclear negotiations currently taking place in Geneva.

Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, today issued the following statement:

Ayatollah Khamenei’s harsh rhetoric against Israel and the United States is yet another indication that the Iranian regime has not moderated its stance toward the West. On the cusp of a deal in Geneva, the Iranian leadership has thumbed its nose at the world with a statement that brings into sharp relief its belligerence and bellicosity toward the West in spite of its efforts to extend an olive branch in negotiations on the nuclear issue.

For the negotiators in Geneva the timing could not be worse. As the U.S. and representatives of the other P5+1 nations begin the third round of talks on Iran’s nuclear program, Khamenei’s remarks cast an ugly pall over the talks.  The rest of the members of the P5+1 should follow President Francois Hollande’s stern condemnation of the Ayatollah’s words.

In remarks at a meeting with members of the paramilitary Basij, Ayatollah Khamenei referred to Israel as an “unclean rabid dog” that is a “threat to the world.” His Facebook page and Twitter account also quoted Khamenei as saying that European countries and France, in particular, humiliate their nations by working “with Zionists officials & pay them lip service.”

Khamenei also accused the U.S. of being responsible for many of the world’s ills and for provoking Saddam Hussein to attack Iran following the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

ADL is the world’s leading anti-hate organization. Founded in 1913 in response to an escalating climate of anti-Semitism and bigotry, its timeless mission is to protect the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment for all. Today, ADL continues to fight all forms of hate with the same vigor and passion. A global leader in exposing extremism, delivering anti-bias education, and fighting hate online, ADL is the first call when acts of anti-Semitism occur. ADL’s ultimate goal is a world in which no group or individual suffers from bias, discrimination or hate.