As it does every year, the Iranian regime marked Qods (Jerusalem) Day, established by the father of Iran's Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, in 1979 as the last Friday of Ramadan; this year, it fell on April 29, 2022. Iran considers Qods Day a symbol of the destruction of Israel, aka the Little Satan. Beyond regime calls for the Israel's destruction, whether through armed confrontation by the Islamic resistance or through a referendum among Palestinians worldwide (though not Jews, not even those in Israel), two trends are evident in this year's Qods Day statements by regime officials:
The use of the Palestinians to accomplish the goals of Iran's Islamic regime – the destruction of Israel and the "export of the revolution" – that is, establishing Shi'ite-Iranian control in the region at the expense of the Sunni Arabs.
Spreading antisemitism and hatred of the Jews and the Zionists.
This report, Part I of two, will discuss these trends as they appear in Iranian regime officials' statements for World Qods Day.
Qods Day Serves The Islamic Revolutionary Regime: The Destruction Of Israel And "Exporting The Revolution"
Since its establishment in 1979, Iran's Islamic Revolutionary regime has set the annihilation of the State of Israel as its ideological focus. In order to actualize this goal, it works on the military level by striving to obtain nuclear weapons and by funding, training, and arming resistance organizations such as Hizbullah, Hamas, and Palestinian Islamic Jihad with weapons and missiles, and on the ideological level, whose apex is World Qods Day.
At the same time, the Islamic Revolutionary Regime is working to accomplish another central goal – "exporting the revolution." This entails spreading and inculcating the Shi'ite Islamic Revolution and its values across the Sunni Arab hegemony in the Middle East. It is the view of the Iranian regime that 1979 was the beginning of Iran's "comprehensive Islamic Revolution."
In fact, Iran's Islamic regime is using World Qods Day, a day of solidarity with the "oppressed Palestinians," as justification for its efforts to expand Iranian-Shi'ite hegemony in the Islamic world – at the expense of the historic Sunni hegemony that has prevailed in the geographic Middle East for 1,400 years. In order to conceal this main goal from Sunni Muslims by recruiting them on the Palestinian issue in a way that serves Iran's struggle for regional hegemony, this trend is manifested most clearly in the motto coined by Ayatollah Khomeini: "The way to Jerusalem passes through Karbala" – that is, the struggle for Jerusalem passes through Iranian control of regions historically under Sunni hegemony (Karbala is located in Iraq).
Iran is painting the Palestinian-Israeli national dispute in the colors of religion – Islam versus the Jews – and presenting its interest in Israel's destruction as an all-Islam interest.
Although the Iranian regime is claiming that World Qods Day is a day of solidarity with and support for the Palestinian people against the Israeli occupier, Qods Day statements by Iranian regime officials reveal that it is not the Palestinians at the center of World Qods Day, but the aims of the Islamic Revolution – establishing Iranian-Shi'ite control in the region and annihilating Israel – to the point where the officials completely ignore the Palestinians, who are merely a pawn for actualizing revolutionary Iran's interests.
For example, the Palestinians are not mentioned at all in a tweet by Ali Shamkhani, chairman of the Majlis Supreme National Security Committee, and the rhetoric used in it is that of Iran's Islamic revolution overlaid on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Shamkhani tweeted on April 30, 2022, after Qods Day: "Great Khomeini's call for freedom and oppression [sic] has penetrated deeper than ever into the hearts of the lovers of [the] # Islamic Revolution, and the sound of [the] breaking of the bones of international Zionism can be heard louder."
Twitter.com/alishamkhani_ir/status/1520351160292491264, April 30, 2022.
Also, in his April 29 Qods Day speech, Esmail Qaani, commander of the Qods Force of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), began with Jerusalem and Palestine, but quickly moved on to focus on accomplishing the great aim of the Islamic Revolution – spreading the revolution until the Rule of the Jurisprudent – velayat-e faqih – prevails regionwide. In effect, Qaani is casting the Islamic Revolution of Shi'ite Iran as the only force that can, by means of the resistance axis established by Iran, stop Israel and destroy it. Reviewing the failures of the Arabs and secular nationalism in tackling Israel, and glorifying the Islamic might of the Iranian model, he stated that "Qods Day will continue powerfully until your [Israel's] complete annihilation, and this resistance front that grows stronger every day will not stop until it destroys you all. This is the message of Qods Day." (See Qaani's full speech below).
Most statements by Iranian regime officials, from Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei to regime spokesmen, focus on the destruction of Israel by means of the weapons of the resistance movements, with Iran's support. But every so often, following Western pressure, blatant statements about destroying Israel with weapons are softened to a more sophisticated call for eliminating Israel as a state by means of a purportedly democratic vote by all Palestinians, inside and outside Israel. Israeli Jews and their offspring will also be allowed a voice – provided they lived in the territory during the British Mandate, prior to 1948. (See MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 7682, Israel's Eradication – An Ideological And Practical Goal Of Iran's Islamic Revolution Regime, September 25, 2018; Inquiry and Analysis No. 1577, Destruction Of Israel By The Sword Or By Referendum – Part I: On Qods Day 2021, Iranian Supreme Leader Khamenei Calls On Palestinians To Rise Up Against Israel, May 24, 2021.)
Antisemitism In Iranian Officials' Statements – Against Jews And Zionists
Antisemitism is another recurring theme in regime officials' and spokesmen's Qods Day statements. Officially, the Iranian regime distinguishes between the Jewish religion – perceived as legitimate, since as monotheists Jews are entitled to practice their religion under Islamic rule – and Jewish nationhood, whose very existence it rejects. However, regime officials tend to blur the line between the religion and the Jewish nation, sometimes referring to Jews based on their religion, and at other times to their national-ideological affiliation, i.e. Zionists. They anachronistically draw on the Quran to support their claims, using the terms "Jew" and 'Zionist" interchangeably. The Iranian regime's view of the Zionists is similar to Nazi racial ideology's view of the Jews, that is, they are the enemies of humanity who scheme and use their money to take over politics, economy, and culture with the aim of running the world.
For more about the intentional blurring of the difference between Zionists and Jews in the statements of Iranian regime officials, see MEMRI Inquiry & Analysis Nos. 1514, Iranian Regime Marks Qods Day 2020 With Antisemitism, Blood Libels, And Calls For Destruction Of Israel, May 21, 2020 and 922, The Image Of The Jew In The Eyes Of Iran's Islamic Regime – Part I: Theological Roots, January 25, 2013.
On Qods Day 2022, Senior Iranian Officials Call For Israel's Annihilation As A Jewish State, By Force Of Arms Via The Resistance Front
Iranian Supreme Leader Khamenei: "The Issues Of The Islamic World, First And Foremost Palestine, Can Be Resolved Only Through The Force Of The Resistance, That Draws On The Holy Quran And The Laws Of Islam... We Condemn The Movement Of 'Treasonous Normalization'"
In his traditional Qods Day speech on April 29, 2022, Supreme Leader Khamenei outlined the forces operating in the region as follows: Iran and its Islamic resistance front versus the Zionists, whom he likened to the "bloodthirsty wolf" America and international terrorism. He urged the young people in Jenin, and other Palestinian young people – "an important part of [Iran's] resistance" – to "continue the martyrdom operations" against Israel. Following are the main points of his remarks:
"Today, all Palestine has become an arena of resistance... Qods Day has come again. Sacred Jerusalem calls to every Muslim in the world. The truth is that as long as the aggressive and criminal Zionist regime controls Jerusalem, we must consider every day of the year Qods Day. Sacred Jerusalem is the heart of Palestine, and Jerusalem reaches across the entire occupied land, from the river to the sea. Every day, the Palestinian people shows, more than ever, that it stands courageously against the oppressor [Israel], and will continue to do so. With their martyrdom operations, the young people have become the defenders of Palestine, and this heralds a different future.
"This year we mark Qods Day at a time when everything attests to a new equation in the present and future of Palestine. Today, 'the indomitable will' in Palestine and across Western Asia [the Middle East] has replaced the 'invincible army' of the Zionists. Today, this criminal army has been forced to change from an offensive structure to a defensive one. Today, in the political arena, the aggressor regime's most important supporter, America, is itself suffering defeat after defeat: in the war in Afghanistan, in the policy of 'maximum pressure' on Islamic Iran, against the Asian forces, in economic control in the world, in the administration of its domestic [affairs], and in the emergence of a profound gap in [the validity] of U.S. sovereignty.
"The aggressor regime is becoming entangled in a complex web of problems, in both the political and military arena. The criminal hangman who previously headed this regime [Benjamin Netanyahu] is in the garbage bin, in the wake of the events of the Sword of Jerusalem [i.e. the May 2021 Israel-Gaza conflict], and now his successors expect [to face] the razor's edge of additional events at any moment.
"The Jenin movement [i.e. the 2002 declaration of readiness to fight Israel issued by some mosques in the city] has driven the Zionist regime crazy. This [movement began] 20 years ago, after the aggressor regime murdered 200 people in the camp in Jenin in response to the killing of several Zionists in Nahariya. It aims to resolve the Jenin issue once and for all!
Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, Khamenei's website, April 29, 2022
"Surveys show that nearly 70% of Palestinians in the territories of 1948 and 1967, and in camps outside [Israel], are imploring the Palestinian leaders [to launch] military strikes against the aggressor regime. This is an important phenomenon, because it shows the Palestinians' complete willingness to fight the aggressor regime, and it gives the jihadi organizations a free hand to act whenever they see fit.
"[The existence of] the Palestinian people's jihadi movements in the northern and southern branches of the 1948 territories, the holding of sizeable marches in Jordan and east Jerusalem, the Palestinian young people's powerful defense of Al-Aqsa mosque, and the military exercises in Gaza have shown that all of Palestine has become an arena of the resistance. Currently, the Palestinian people is unanimous about continuing the jihad.
"These events, and what has happened in Palestine in recent years, signify the cancellation of all plans for compromise with the Zionist enemy. This is because no plan concerning Palestine can be implemented without its owners, or without their agreement. [Those owners are] the Palestinians. This means that all the agreements to date – such as Oslo, the Arab two-state plan, the Deal of the Century, or the recent loathsome normalization – are canceled.
"Although the Zionist regime is impatient, it is still continuing its crimes and conducting armed attacks against the oppressed. It murders unarmed women, children, elderly, and young people, imprisoning, torturing, razing homes, and destroying property. But the liars who claim [to defend] human rights in Europe and the U.S., and who raised a hue and cry in the case of Ukraine, have nothing to say about all such crimes in Palestine. They are not protecting these oppressed people; instead, they are aiding the bloodthirsty wolf [Israel].
"This is a tremendous lesson. [The lesson is that] in the issues of the Islamic world, and particularly that of Palestine, it is not possible to, and is forbidden to, rely on the loathsome and racist forces. The issues of the Islamic world, and particularly that of Palestine, can be solved only through the power of the resistance, which draws from the holy Quran and the laws of Islam.
"The emergence of the resistance in the Middle East region in the past few decades is a most welcome phenomenon in the region. It [comprises] men of the resistance who purged the occupied regions in Lebanon of the filth of the Zionists, who extricated Iraq from the jaws of America, who rescued Iraq from the evil of ISIS, and who helped the Syrian defenders in the face of America's plans. The men of the resistance fight international terrorism, assist the resisting Yemeni people in the war that was forced upon them, fight the existence of the Zionist aggressors in Palestine and bring them to their knees with divine success. Every day, these jihadi efforts highlight the issue of Jerusalem and Palestine in global public opinion.
"You, the people in Palestine; you, the martyred youth in the West Bank and the territories of 1948; you the fighters of the Jenin camp; and you who live in the Palestinian camps outside of Palestine – you are an important and sensitive part and you are the driving force of the resistance...
"The Islamic Republic of Iran supports and sides with the resistance front. It supports and sides with the resistance of Palestine. We have always said this, and we are working toward this goal, and persisting in it. We condemn the treasonous normalization movement. We condemn the policy of accommodation [i.e. Israel-Arab normalization]..."
Qods Force Commander Esmail Qaani: "Qods Day Will Proceed Forcefully Until You Are Completely Annihilated – And The Resistance Front, Which Grows Stronger Every Day, Will Not Stop Until It Destroys You All; That Is The Message Of Qods Day"
In his Qods Day speech on April 29, 2022, Qods Force commander Esmail Qaani asserted that the Zionists – calling them the group of people brought to "Palestine" in 1948 from various places across the world that calls itself "the Jewish people" – have no connection to that land. Only the Islamic Revolution of 1979 in Iran and its regional branches, he said, could contend with the invasion of the Zionists and the U.S., thanks to its "precious divine school of thought." Equating Zionists with Jews, he reassures his audience of the imminent end of the Zionist regime, saying that "no Jewish regime has ever lasted more than 80 years." The Zionist regime's demise, he said, would be brought about by the successes of Iran's Islamic revolutionary regime, including through attacks on Israel by Palestinian terrorists and UAVs.
Qaani said: "... It was the nature of this man [Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini] to defend the oppressed, but in the case of Palestine and defending its oppressed people and heroes, we see that the Imam was a pioneer and a visionary. Looking at the fatwas and conversations of the Imam, we see that [even] in the pre-revolutionary years, not only was he always at the forefront of defending the oppressed nation of Palestine, but he also issued various fatwas allowing the allocation of zakat [Islamic charity] and sahumin [Islamic taxation] to assist the Palestinian people."
"When the Revolution triumphed [in 1979], the Imam instituted the grand concept of defending the oppressed Palestinian people. In the first year of the Revolution, he issued a far-reaching message inviting the Iranian people and the entire Islamic ummah to observe Qods Day and to declare solidarity in the defense of the oppressed people of Palestine.
"The Imam began with the cause of defending Palestine, but expanded Qods Day to a day for Islam and the revival of Islam. Over the 40-plus years [it has been observed], both the great nation of Iran and all the great Islamic nations have been implementing this day, better and better every year. Even in the years of the coronavirus outbreak, they did not rest; they honored this day, and there is no doubt that just as the revolutionary imams promised, honoring this great day laid the foundations for the liberation of the land of Jerusalem, and it will not be long before Palestine is finally liberated.
"In 1948, they [those who wish ill to Islam and Iran] gathered various people from various places around the world, brought them to a land with a great historic past, killed and displaced its [native] people, and brought the group calling themselves the Jewish people to a land with which they have no connection. If the Imam decrees that this cancerous growth must be removed, there is logic in this. This land has owners, and those owners are the Palestinian people.
Qods Force commander Esmail Qaani (Source: ISNA, Iran, April 29, 2022)
"In that occupied land, that also harshly censors anything that would expose what [is happening] there, racial discrimination is spiking, and social inequality is extreme. This regime is home to violent people who rely on others and who form the basis of all fitna [civil strife], and who behave abominably towards the believers [i.e. the Muslims].
"Had the religious scholars and self-sacrificing peoples of the Islamic world not fought against Israel, this regime would have surely grown and developed. During the [1980-85] Iran-Iraq war, a few weeks after our fighters were victorious at Khorramshahr, the Zionist regime attacked Lebanon from the south, killing some 3,000 oppressed people in just a few days. Had it not been for the strength of the people who are fighting worldwide, they [the Zionists] would have achieved their vision of [expanding] from the Nile to the Euphrates, while killing that many each day.
"Unfortunately, some incidents have made erroneous conclusions stick in the minds of many. For example, during the Six-Day War, three countries – Syria, Jordan, and Egypt – clashed with the Zionist regime. Because of the international support for the regime [Israel], these three countries were unfortunately defeated in six days, and the territories that were taken from them are still controlled by this regime.
"However, [following the victory of the Islamic Revolution] in the past 20 or so years, every time Israel launched a war, it lost. In the first stage, thanks to the fighting efforts of the sons of the IRGC – Lebanese Hizbullah, commanded by Sayyed [Hassan Nasrallah] – the resistance pressured this regime [Israel] enough so that it caused it not just to retreat, but to flee southern Lebanon.
"In the six years that followed, this regime [Israel], in an effort to make up for its humiliation, deployed its army and equipment in the 33-day war [the Second Lebanon War of 2006]. During this war, too, there were no crimes that this regime did not commit, until it ran out of ammunition and asked the U.S. for weapons.
"But the Zionists didn't even manage to reach the Litani River [in Lebanon], because they were facing Hizbullah [fighters] whose means were limited but whose will was strong. The Israeli army was once again humiliated. After two years of work, in 2008 they launched the 22-day war [the December 2008 Gaza war] with the Palestinians. Although they had the most advanced weapons, they failed to take [even] two of the Gaza Strip's six kilometers.
"The Zionist regime does not understand that when Muslims, whether Shi'ite or Sunni, are affiliated with the precious divine school of thought [Islam], they show more strength and motivation with every passing day. The sons of the Islamic Revolution are forcing Israel to accept [the fact] that its army has been defeated.
"No one in the world [fights] and resists like a Muslim. This is because we follow the Prophet as a model: Every day we [fight and] resist the U.S. and the Zionist regime more; with everything that is happening, the sons of the revolution grow [stronger]. Today, there is an international resistance movement, and wherever the Zionist criminals attack in Palestine, this resistance movement goes to war against that regime. The weaker the Zionist regime becomes, the more this movement grows.
"During this war [the May 2021 Israel-Gaza conflict], the Palestinian people fought bravely for 11 days. In this war, over 3,000 rockets were launched from the Palestinian side at the aggressive regime. This is one notable example of the resistance front, which advances every day in every way.
"No Jewish rule has ever lasted more than 80 years, and research centers are now saying that the lifespan of the Zionist regime is 70-80 years. The [Zionist] regime itself admits this. A national security research center in Israel created a plan for 'the battle between wars,' and it wanted to uproot Iran from Syria, and did everything it could [to do this]. But the might of the soldiers of the resistance front made this center admit that the 'battle between wars' strategy had failed... These outcomes were because of Qods Day.
"Before the revolution, and also after, we, led by the imams of the revolution, officially announced our support for any front opposing the criminal Zionist regime. Last year, we saw a new disaster befall the Zionist regime every day. In the past two months, people whose movements were documented by the cameras of this regime carried out five martyrdom operations.
"A few months ago, this regime received word that two unidentified UAVs were heading its way. It launched 41 warplanes and UAVs. Their people asked it [why] these 41 warplanes and UAVs were [launched]. The regime leaders lied to their citizens, saying they had conducted a drill that night.
"You [Israel] say that 'if so much as a mosquito moves, we will attack.' [But] now you cannot give an answer even to your own people. Use your logic, and you will see that the life of this regime is at an end. So before your homes in Europe and America become too expensive, and your homes in the occupied territories become too cheap, sell your homes and go back to your original homelands.
"Qods Day will continue in full force until you are completely annihilated, and the resistance front, which grows stronger every day, will not stop until it destroys you all. This is the message of Qods Day, and we hope it will not be long until victory, and until prayers are held in Al-Aqsa mosque [by Shi'ites and Iran]."
IRGC Commander Hossein Salami: "The Path To Happiness For The Muslims Against The Arrogant Ones Goes On The Path To Jihad; The Enemy Best Understands The Language Of The Sword... Together, We Are Waging Jihad, And Jihad Is The Secret Of Our Happiness"
In his Qods Day speech on April 29, IRGC commander Hossein Salami reiterated the position of the Iranian regime – that there is no use in diplomatic agreements between Israel and the Palestinians, and that the Palestinians can only overcome Israel with Iran's Islamic Revolution, that provides them the ideology and the weapons to fight them. He added that the Palestinians are actually inspired by the Iranian regime, along with Hizbullah in the north [of Israel] to use the path of jihad via force and the sword to achieve the goals of the revolution, i.e. Israel's destruction.
The following are the main points of his statements in his speech:
"The Palestinians have understood the truth – compromise with the oppressors on pieces of paper [i.e. agreements] do not bring security, independence, or return to the homeland. This is a great lesson that history has taught us all. Our exalted [Shi'ite] imams are wise and are aware that compromise with the oppressor is no way to a secure and peaceful life... This logic raises the spirit of jihad against the arrogant ones in Palestine, Lebanon, and the other places in the Islamic world. The path to happiness for the Muslims against the arrogant ones goes on the path to jihad. The enemy best understands the language of the sword. He believes in the logic of force and knows that victory can be achieved by becoming stronger. He respects force, and this path trod by the imams of our revolution, particularly during the long period of the imams of our beloved leadership [i.e. Ayatollah Khomeini and Supreme Leader Khamenei], brought about the formation of a significant road map.
IRGC commander Hossein Salami (Source: ISNA, Iran, April 29, 2022)
"The revolutionary leadership appointed the best, strongest, and most resourceful commander to lead the resistance movement. [IRGC Qods Force commander] Hajj Qassem [Soleimani] succeeded in inviting young people across the world to jihad, and since then the Zionist army has not been victorious in any war. Note that in the past the Zionist regime would carry out merciless slaughter – but today, the wounding of a single Palestinian is harshly punished.
"The Palestinians have had [times when] their hands were empty; [now] they are armed. Their men are in the arena, and Israel is collapsing. You [Israelis] who thought that layers of heavy security could save you from the dangers of the Palestinians, have seen... how your ships are defeated at sea. You saw the launch of thousands of Palestinian rockets in [Operation] Sword of Jerusalem [in May 2021]. You see Hizbullah, that controls the north part of the lands that you conquered like a dragon and a lion. You sense the siege [on you] in the heart of the Islamic world [i.e. Jerusalem], and you see your social order breaking. You thought that America was a reliable support, [but] it has become a [weak] spiderweb. The security order on which you relied is no longer stable. America has left Afghanistan and Iraq; it is on the margins of the politics of the region, and can no longer help you. It is like an ambulance whose siren sounds after the patient has died.
"You see that we are men of action and reaction, and our answer to you is that you [yourselves] are preparing the ground for your own disappearance. We will not leave you alone. Wait. If you take the smallest mistaken step, you know what will come upon your heads. I say to heroic Palestine: Continue, divine victory is with you. You are united in the West Bank, in Gaza, and in the Al-Aqsa compound that God has blessed. Your enemy is collapsing, and your strength is awakening. Palestine is in our hearts. The Islamic world is aboard the ship, and together we are waging jihad, and jihad is the secret of our happiness."
Ali Shirazi, Deputy Defense Minister For Political And Ideological Affairs And Former Khamenei Representative In Qods Force: "Once I Declared That We Have The Capability To Strike In The Heart Of Israel With The Shihab-3 Missile – Today I Declare That Iran's Precision Missiles Can Turn The Zionist Capital To Dust In A Moment"
Deputy Defense Minister for Political and Ideological Affairs Ali Shirazi, who was formerly Khamenei's representative in the Qods Force, called Iran's Islamic Revolution a turning point and the light in the Palestinian struggle against Israel, since it was causing Israel defeats. Speaking at the April 29 Qods Day march, he stated that the Zionists were not Jews, and that their regime was collapsing and would be destroyed before 25 years had passed, as promised by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. Reiterating the vision and goals of the Islamic Revolution, he noted the destruction of the Zionist regime, and the defeat of America and the establishment of a world order led by Iran. Boasting of Iran's missile capability against Israel, he reminded his audience that Iran's branches across the region, particularly Hizbullah, were fighting Israel. He said:
"The oppressed men of Palestine were trapped by the apostate Zionist in 1948, with the support of evil Britain, and throughout these years they have always tried to defend their land. The looters of the land of Palestine are not only not Jews but they are apostate Zionists cut off from the divine religion, and they doubly oppress humanity – such that 78% of the holy land of Palestine is occupied by this false regime.
"With the victory of the Islamic Revolution in 1978 [sic], the Palestinians were supported by the flag of Iran as the Shi'ite revolution, and in our country, Iran, the flag of Israel was taken down at the [Israeli] embassy and the Palestinian flag was raised.
"On this day [Qods Day], the Iranian nation has announced, by its presence on the ground [i.e. by holding marches], its support [for the Palestinians], and an important impact of this presence is the defeat of the enemy and its fear of the might of the Islamic nation. On the eve of Qods Day, the enemies are continually trying to downplay the presence of the freedom-seeking nations, by means of Satanic acts in the media and [spreading] propaganda in cyberspace. [This is] even though today, even in the heart of Europe and America, the freedom-seeking nations support the oppressed Palestinians."
With regard to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei's assertions that Israel will be destroyed within 25 years, Shirazi said: "Seven years after that [statement], the Israelis themselves are declaring that this false regime will fall even before 25 years [have passed]. The political, economic, security, and cultural system of the Zionist regime is in the process of collapse, and support from the countries of the West in this connection cannot do a thing.
Deputy Defense Minister for Political and Ideological Affairs Ali Shirazi (Source: ISNA, April 29, 2022)
"We call on the countries [that want to normalize relations with Israel] not to connect their tails to the tail of the collapsing Israeli regime, because the fall of this child-massacring regime is certain and final.
"The cases of Ukraine and of America's non-support for Saddam [Hussein of Iraq], for the Shah [of Iran], and for the Afghanistan leaders are a bizarre story, and we must learn from this and not become entangled with America and the Zionist regime. Soon, the oppressed Palestinian people will return to its true land, and they will conduct magnificent prayers in Jerusalem, the first qibla [direction] of Muslim prayer.
"Once, I declared that we have the capability to strike into the heart of Israel with the Shihab-3 missile; today, I declare that Iran's precision missiles can turn the Zionist capital to dust in a moment.
"History is a good witness to the fact that this false regime had no strength to confront the residents of Gaza in the 33-day war [i.e. the 2006 Lebanon war] or in the 22-day war [with Gaza in 2008], and today all that is needed to destroy the might of the Zionist regime is the Lebanese resistance front. The enemy, particularly America, has been strongly slapped in the military, security, cultural, and economic wars, and certainly in the soft war, our enemy has a better understanding of Iran's might.
"America and the Zionist regime had no part in the new world order, and the main part [of it] belongs to Iran, and the resistance front in the countries of the region must be strengthened. Israel, that has become an old dog, sees its power disintegrating."
Exhibit Of Iran's "Kheibar Shekan" Missile With 1,450-Km Range
Displayed during the April 29, 2022 Qods Day march was Iran's newest ballistic missile, the Kheibar Shekan, "Fortress Breaker" – which has a range of 1,450 km. The "Kheibar" in the missile's name refers to the elimination of the Jews in early Islam in a battle between the followers of Muhammad and the Jewish tribes living at the Kheibar oasis. Israel is within the missile's range.
The Kheibar Shekan missile (Source: YJC, Iran, April 29, 2022)
National Security Council Chairman Ali Shamkhani: Today, "The Sound Of Breaking The Bones Of International Zionism Can Be Heard Louder"
IRGC Political Bureau Head Yadollah Javani: "The Strategic Discussion Of Wiping Israel From The Face Of The Earth Is In Effect A Discussion About An Operation [To Remove] This Cancerous Growth From The Body Of The World Of Islam And The Muslims"
IRGC Political Bureau head Yadollah Javani said on Qods Day, April 29: "This effort for a full and mighty presence [at the march] is important to Palestine. After several decades of the issue of Palestine and exalted Jerusalem, two questions arise before public opinion. The first is from the people who criticize and oppose [the Iranian regime's policy on Jerusalem, asking]: Why must we interfere in the affairs of others? Why must our foreign policy be influenced by the Palestine issue? Why must we make an effort to liberate Jerusalem? And why do we even need a force called Qods [Jerusalem] in the IRGC?
"Another question, [that is raised] by the forces of the revolution, the believers, and the religious masses, is: Will we really see Jerusalem liberated one day? Will the words of the Supreme Leader [Khamenei], that the Zionist regime will not last another 25 years, come true?
"My answer to the first question is that if those who oppose the Islamic Republic [of Iran's] support for Jerusalem and the Palestinians knew how Palestine was occupied and what the aims of this [occupation] were, their position would change. Seventy-five years ago, when neither the Islamic Republic nor Israel yet existed, the West planned scenarios with the aim of paralyzing the Islamic countries, creating division in the Islamic world, and preventing the Muslims from advancing. According to these scenarios, there was a need to establish, on the land of Palestine, a non-Islamic regime called Israel, with the aim of creating a regime [that would stretch] from the Nile to the Euphrates, and that over time it would infiltrate, through this point, all the institutions of the Islamic countries in the political, economic, and cultural arena. [The aim of] this was to prevent the Muslims from rising again and from thinking about reviving the culture and might that they once had.
IRGC Political Bureau head Yadollah Javani (Source: ISNA, Iran, April 29, 2022)
"The Imam [Khomeini] compared Israel to a cancerous growth. We all know that if a cancerous growth is not uprooted and burned, it will completely destroy the body. The strategic discussion of wiping Israel from the face of the earth is in effect a discussion about an operation [to remove] this growth from the body of the world of Islam and the Muslims.
"If those who ask [whether Israel's destruction will come true] recognize the history of 75 years of Israel, they would have the answer to this question. The full and beautiful presence of the people on Qods Day that is taking place in Iran, Iraq, Yemen, and even Europe, is proof that we are on a path that will lead to the destruction of Israel.
"There was a time, before the victory of the revolution, that we saw that aggressive Israel, with the help of the forces of the West, was spreading. This [Zionist] regime declared its existence by conspiracy, and mercilessly slaughtered and expelled the Palestinian people, and carried out every crime with the approval of the West in order to stabilize itself. Even when the Islamic countries began to move, eventually, this regime occupied parts of the Islamic countries, such as the Sinai and the Golan Heights, using material support from outside the land of Palestine. Even the Iranian newspapers during the era of the Shah wrote that three million Jews were stronger than 100 million Muslims, and [the idea] that they have no choice but to bow to this aggressor was instilled in the Muslims.
"It was under these circumstances that Iran's Islamic Revolution has triumphed, and the leader has made statements of Islamic unity against Israel [and] the need to fight it based on a religious and ideological perception... Is it possible to follow the Quran, the Prophet [Muhammad], and the Shi'a of Ali, but to remain silent about the oppression, the occupation, and the crimes [by Israel]?
"When the Imam [Khomeini] announced Qods Day, his statements were based on religious insight – that is, fighting the oppressor and defending the oppressed. Some years ago, during these struggles, the Leader [Khamenei] declared that Israel would not exist in another 25 years because since the revolution the process of Israel's progress had stopped and it was on track to weakening.
"Before the revolution, the Israeli army published in the world that it was invincible. But where is that definition now? Today, thanks to the revolution and the Islamic resistance, and thanks to that divine vision of the Imam Khomeini, the guidelines of the Leader [Khamenei], and the struggle of people such as the martyr Soleimani, the stones in the hands of the oppressed Palestinians and the heroes of Gaza have over time been replaced by precision missiles, and there is nowhere in Israel that is out of their range.
"These are not slogans. In these years, we have seen how the bullying Israel fled Lebanon, how it thought that it had destroyed Hizbullah after 33 days [in the Second Lebanon War, 2006], and tasted bitter defeat. Is there anything here but the fact that divine victory marks these victories, that came to defend honestly the oppressed?
"Today, the Zionists are acknowledging that they are incapable of tackling the resistance axis that surrounds them on all 360 degrees, and the Israeli army that once easily carried out crimes today has not the courage to carry out a single attack. In the Sword of Jerusalem battle [May 2021 Israel-Gaza conflict] that took place last Ramadan, all Israel's prestige, and its Iron Dome, collapsed in the face of the missiles from Gaza. Today, the Israelis do not feel secure anywhere, and their strength is crumbling from within. They are so weak that they cannot locate their own outposts that are fighting.
"The regime that was invented by the West to occupy the Islamic world carried out crimes and convinced the leaders of Islamic groups [apparently a reference to leaders of Arab countries] to compromise. But today the Islamic Revolution, and you the people, are shaping the situation such that the Zionists themselves say that they have no chance of surviving. Several Israeli officials have said that they [i.e. Israel] will apparently collapse in less than 25 years.
"If the Israelis fled southern Lebanon, if the Americans fled Iraq and Afghanistan, the day is also nigh when the Zionists will flee the exalted Jerusalem, group by group. May they [the Zionists] see. in other countries and in Iran, how the people insist on this aspiration, as [they did] in the first year that Qods Day was declared [by Ayatollah Khomeini]. It is best that the Zionists pack their bags [today], before they flee via the sea and emigrate abroad; tomorrow will be too late for them.
"Israel stands today before the peoples who have awoken, primarily the Palestinians, and this is the path that will continue, and those who supported Israel and the reactionary Arab countries that compromised and do so, must know that they are approaching the end point, and that soon we will celebrate the liberation of Al-Aqsa mosque, [because] this divine promise cannot be broken."
IRGC: "Soon The Global Media's Leading News [Story] Will Be About [The Actualization] Of The Promise Of The Leader Of The Revolution For The Destruction Of The Cancerous Growth Of Israel And The Liberation Of The Palestinian People And Al-Aqsa Mosque"
The IRGC published a statement on April 28 in which it expressed its hope of seeing the destruction of Israel in the near future. The following are the highlights of the statement:
"The historic step and the wise, strategic, and forward-looking initiative of the Imam Khomeini, who set the last Friday of Ramadan as World Qods Day, is considered one of the marvelous and significant phenomena, and one of the Iranian people's gestures honoring its clear and crucial role in supporting the oppressed Palestinian people, and in fanning the flame of the Islamic ummah's, and even humanity's, anger and resentment against the Zionists and against the occupiers of sacred Jerusalem.
"In the 43 years since the declaration of World Qods Day – 74 years since the establishment of the false, criminal, and temporary Zionist regime... recent developments, particularly the spread of the flames of the intifada to the heart of the [Zionist] regime, it appears that Tel Aviv is breathing its [last] few breaths, and the occupiers of sacred Jerusalem are rapidly counting [down] to their final fall...
"The Zionists think that with Satanic plans such as the Deal of the Century and normalization of relations with some Arab countries they will envelop the Palestinian issue and the vision of Jerusalem in an aura of invisibility and oblivion. At the same time, the opposite is true on the ground: What is happening in these days on the occupied land, and particularly in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, is that not only is the dream of stability and security and permanence of the criminal Zionist regime not being realized, but compacted, hidden, and explosive energy is being conveyed into the occupiers' shameful lives, making them anticipate a terrible and deadly nightmare at any moment.
"With the victory of the glorious Islamic Revolution in Iran, the heroic struggle of Palestine has always been accompanied by great victories that cannot be denied, and by the defeats of the murderous and transient Zionist regime. The resistance of the oppressed and defenseless Palestinians has made the foundation of the Zionist regime weaker than spiderwebs, with the help of the unity, brotherhood, and Islamic awakening, from Africa to the Middle East, and even in Europe and America, and they have brought the Zionist regime almost to oblivion. They have brought the liberation of Jerusalem and the actualization of the motto of the Imam [Khomeini], to 'erase Jerusalem from the pages of history,' closer than ever.
"The discourse of the resistance and the support for Palestine emanating from Iran states that the only solution to the Palestine issue is the expulsion of the occupiers, the dismantling of the Zionist institutions from the occupied lands, the return of the Palestinians and Palestinian emigrants, and the holding of free elections to actualize the [Palestinians'] will to determine their own destiny. Any plan of compromise, such as Arab countries' normalization with the false, child-murdering Zionist regime, that will repeat the historical mistake of the traitor [Egyptian president] Anwar Sadat, will be considered a failure, open treason, and unforgiveable...
"With God's help, with the unity of the resistance groups, soon the global media's leading news [story] will be about [the actualization] of the promise of the Leader of the Revolution for the destruction of the cancerous growth of Israel and the liberation of the Palestinian people and Al-Aqsa mosque, that gained momentum with the opening of the new fronts in the struggle against the occupiers, America's exit from the region, and the anticipated fateful developments. The oppressed people of Palestine will prepare itself to celebrate the victory over the occupiers and will impose the establishment of a lawful and just Palestinian government on the arrogant and reactionary rule of the region."
* A. Savyon is Director of the MEMRI Iran Media Project; M. Manzour is a Research Fellow at MEMRI.