June 23, 2008 Inquiry & Analysis Series No. 447

Ahmadinejad: Israel Is a "Dead Fish" and a "Stinking Corpse"; "The Zionist Regime Will Be Wiped"; "The European Governments Do Not Want the Zionists Living in Europe"

June 23, 2008 | By A. Savyon and Yossi Mansharof*
Iran | Inquiry & Analysis Series No. 447


As Israel's 60th anniversary drew near, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad continued his tirade of virulent anti-Israel and antisemitic statements, likening Israel to a "dead fish" and a "stinking corpse" and calling it a "false regime" which "from the point of view of the nations in the region does not even exist." He also stated that Israel "will be wiped off,"[1] and that "the day will come when the Muslims uproot [it]."[2]

Ahmadinejad added that the elimination of Israel would benefit the entire world, since Israel caused harm to humanity at large – and especially to Europe, which was "bearing the political and economic burden of this false regime."[3]

Ahmadinejad's statements were echoed by other senior leaders of the Iranian regime. Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, for example, described Israel as a "false regime that has been imposed" upon the region, and outgoing Majlis speaker Haddad Adel said that Israel's 60th anniversary was a "black day for humanity, freedom, and human rights." [4]

Following are excerpts from statements by Ahmadinejad, Khamenei, and other senior Iranian leaders.

Ahmadinejad: Israel Is a "Dead Fish" and "Stinking Corpse"

In a May 10, 2008 speech to Majlis members, a few days before Israel's 60th anniversary, Ahmadinejad said: "The [very] basis for the existence of the Zionist regime is in question. This oppressive and false regime is about to fade and collapse... Those who think that they can revive this stinking corpse by celebrating its anniversary are totally wrong. The [leaders] who attend these celebrations should know that they will go down [in history as accomplices] of the Zionist criminals... Having received a slap in the face from the Lebanese people, this regime is now coming to its end like a dead fish... If countries in the region continue to [support] Israel they will be burned by the wrath of the nations." [5]

Israel Is a "Dead Man...; [The Zionists] Are a Group of Terrorists and Criminals... with No Roots in Palestine"; "From the Point of View of the Nations in the Region, the Zionist Regime Does Not Even Exist"

In a May 13, 2008 press conference, Ahmadinejad predicted Israel's demise and denied its right to exist: "Today, certain people are about to convene in occupied Palestine in order to celebrate its anniversary. They believe that, by doing so, they are strengthening this disintegrating regime. However, the whole world will come to understand that holding these ceremonies is a sign of the weakness, backwardness, and disintegration of this regime. Otherwise, why didn't they celebrate this regime's 50th or 55th anniversary? Why did they come up with this idea [only] now? Let me tell you, celebrating a dead man's birthday won't improve his condition one bit. This dead man will not be resurrected by all those people who are about to convene there... [The Zionists] are a group of terrorists and criminals who came [to Israel] according to a plan, with the support of foreigners, and who have no roots in Palestine. Sooner or later, they will be driven out by the people of Palestine...[6] From the point of view of the nations in the region, the Zionist regime does not even exist... The era of Zionist writings, Zionist bullying policies and the Zionist political mechanism has come to an end."[7]

"The Criminal and Terrorist Zionist Regime... Will Be Wiped Off"

In a May 14, 2008 speech in Gorgan, northern Iran, Ahmadinejad reiterated that "Israel's days are numbered,"[8] that "the peoples of the region would not miss the narrowest opportunity to annihilate this false regime," and that "the nations of the region despise this false and criminal regime."[9]

At a conference marking the 19th anniversary of the death of Ayatollah Rohullah Khomeini, founder of the Islamic Revolution Regime, Ahmadinejad stated: "Know that the criminal and terrorist Zionist regime – which has years of plundering, aggression and crime to its name – has come to the end of its road and will soon be wiped off..."[10] Addressing the late Khomeini, he added: "Our beloved Imam... the Zionist regime has lost its raison d'etre. Today, the Palestinians identify with your name, your memory, and your path. They are walking in your illuminated path, [while] the Zionist regime has reached a total dead end. With God's grace, your wish will soon be realized, and this germ of corruption will be wiped off."[11]

"The Very Existence of the False Zionist Regime Has Caused Europe Great Harm... The Europeans Are Bearing the Political and Economic Burden of This Regime... The European Governments Do Not Want the Zionists Living in Europe"

In his May 13, 2008 press conference, Ahmadinejad described the "great harm" that "global Zionism" causes the nations of the world, and especially Europe: "All the nations, including those of Europe, are being harmed [by global Zionism]. You see that in Europe, most countries are bereft of political independence, and are unable to express a position on global issues without deferring to the directives of global Zionism. They say explicitly that they are under pressure [from the Zionists] and have to pay them annual taxes... A European citizen who works hard to provide sustenance for himself and his family must pay his taxes to the last frank or mark, while global Zionism has economic dealings in Europe, but does not pay any taxes. [Furthermore], the European countries are not only forced to comply with the Zionist directives, but must pay other steep prices as well."[12]

Ahmadinejad made similar remarks at the recent Summit of the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization in Rome: "I think that anyone who follows the [developments] in the world comes to the conclusion that this (i.e. the elimination of Israel) will occur with or without Iran's intervention... It will be to Europe's advantage, since Europe is forced to pay for some of the Zionists' crimes...[13] The very existence of the false Zionist regime has caused Europe great harm... The Europeans are bearing the political and economic burden of this regime... The day will come when the Muslims uproot [it]."[14] Ahmadinejad added: "We realize that the European governments do not want the Zionists living in Europe, but they should not foist them on the Palestinians."[15]

Ahmadinejad explained that Iran's position, which rejects Israel's very existence, is to the benefit of humanity at large: "Our position against the Zionist regime is to the benefit of all nations, because this regime is a shameful stain on the body of mankind, and its crimes in Palestine are a disgrace to humanity at large. That is why we want to put an end to the [Zionists'] crimes. Today, after 60 years, the time has come to open up the black box of the Zionist regime's crimes and expose the facts...

"What is the secret of this false regime which [gives it] such immunity, and [enables it to receive] support despite all its crimes and violations of human rights and of people's dignity? [We] must figure out what is the mission of the Zionist regime, which prompts certain European countries to support it so absolutely, and what is the mystery behind the false Zionist regime, [which causes] all truths to be sacrificed for its sake... The European nations, as peace-loving and sincere nations [that have been] victims of war, oppose the crimes of the Zionist regime."[16]

Khamenei: The Arab Governments Must Support the Palestinian Struggle

In his main speech on the 19th anniversary of Khomeini's death, Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei stated that Israel was a false regime that had imposed itself on the region. He accused the Arab governments of withdrawing their support for the Palestinians' struggle and of helping Israel endure, and called upon them to change the reality in the region:

"Like the great Iranian nation, the [other] Muslim peoples now regard Israel as a false regime that has been imposed [on the region]. Unfortunately, however, the Arab governments do not join their peoples' demand [for change in the region].

"The Zionist regime has no power, and is incapable of standing on its own. It is the shameless and unconditional support of the U.S., and the failure of the Islamic and Arab countries to support the Palestinians, that is preventing changes from taking place in the region... Unfortunately, many Islamic governments have failed in their duty toward the Palestinian people. Had they adopted the stance of their peoples and supported the oppressed people of Palestine, the situation in the region would have been totally different... Commitment to Islamic principles, struggle against cruelty and arrogance [i.e. the U.S.], defense of oppressed nations – in particular the Palestinians – and enmity toward the Zionist octopus are among the [chief] mottos of the Iranian people."[17]

Iranian Foreign Minister: Israel Is Nearing Its End

Iranian Foreign Minister Manuchehr Mottaki spoke in a similar vein at a June 1, 2008 Foreign Ministry conference titled "Khomeini, Foreign Policy, and a Look to the Palestinian Problem and the Liberation of Jerusalem." Mottaki said: "Khomeini did not regard the opposition to the Zionist regime, and the support for the rights of the Palestinian people, as [duties that are relevant] only for a certain time... Israel is ready collapse owing to internal problems, and over the past 60 years it has not managed to establish its legitimacy... Israel has managed – by means of violence, force, intimidation, satanic plots and widespread propaganda – to impose itself upon the region and to create a myth that the Zionist regime is invincible. But today, the Islamic resistance [Hamas, Hizbullah and Islamic Jihad] has shattered this false myth..."[18] Mottaki added: "As Khomeini said, if every Muslim pours a bucket of water over Israel, it will be washed away."[19]

In a speech to the Iranian Majlis, outgoing Majlis speaker Haddad Adel called the 60th anniversary of the "false regime that is occupying Palestine" a "black day for humanity, freedom and human rights."[20]

Regime Mouthpiece: The Resistance Will Soon Crush Israel's Spider-Like Regime

An editorial in the conservative daily Jomhouri-ye Eslami stated that despite its 60th anniversary celebrations, there was "no doubt that Israel was collapsing and would not last much longer." The daily added: "The resistance [forces] of the Palestinian people and other anti-Zionist [forces] will no doubt quickly finish the task and crush Israel's spider-like regime, so that [Israel's] 60th anniversary celebrations will become a prelude to its demise."[21]

* Y. Mansharof is a research fellow at MEMRI; A. Savyon is Director of the Iranian Media Project.

[1] IRINN (Iran), June 2, 2008. See MEMRI TV Clip No. 1784,

[2] Press TV (Iran), May 15, 2008.

[3] Entekhab (Iran), June 3, 2008.

[4] Mehr (Iran), May 13, 2008.

[5] Emrooz (Iran), May 10, 2008. In a meeting in Mashhad with Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade, Ahmadinejad said that "the countdown to the fall of the Tel-Aviv regime has begun," and that "its allies are gradually losing hope for its endurance." IRNA (Iran), April 10, 2008.

[6] IRINN (Iran), May 13, 2008. For excerpts from this speech, see MEMRI TV Clip No. 1769,

[7] Press TV (Iran), May 13, 2008.

[8] Press TV (Iran), May 14, 2008.

[9] Aftab (Iran), May 14, 2008.

[10] IRNA (Iran), June 2, 2008.

[11] IRINN (Iran), June 2, 2008. For excerpts from this speech, see MEMRI TV Clip No. 1948,

[12] Kayhan (Iran), May 14, 2008.

[13] Entekhab (Iran), June 4, 2008.

[14] Entekhab (Iran), June 3, 2008.

[15] IRNA (Iran), June 4, 2008.

[16] Mehr (Iran), June 4, 2008.

[17] Press TV (Iran), June 3, 2008.

[18] IRNA (Iran), June 2, 2008.

[19] Press TV (Iran), June 2, 2008. Iranian Ambassador to Syria and Ahmadinejad's advisor Ahmad Moussavi stated that "Israel is on the road to annihilation and is weakening by the minute." Press TV (Iran), May 13, 2008.

[20] Press TV (Iran), May 13, 2008.

[21] Jomhouri-ye Eslami (Iran), May 11, 2008.

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