On November 29, 2023, the anniversary of the 1947 UN Partition Plan endorsing the establishment of a Jewish state alongside an Arab state in Palestine that was rejected by the Arabs, Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei claimed that Iran does not want to throw the Jews or the Zionists into the sea. He added that Iran has never said that it wants to do this and instead attributed these statements to the Arabs.
However, Khamenei's statement is false: Since the Islamic Revolution in 1979, Iran's Islamic regime has openly set the elimination of the State of Israel as top priority, and has made it a central element of its ideology. In this context, it is noteworthy that on International Quds Day in 2017, which fell on June 23 that year, a digital clock counting down the days until the destruction of Israel was set up in Tehran's Palestine Square, reflecting Khamenei's September 9, 2015 statement that Israel will be eliminated within 25 years.
The digital clock in Tehran's Palestine Square counting down the days until Israel is destroyed. (Source: Iusnews.ir, June 23, 2017)
Not only do Iranian regime officials regularly call for the destruction of Israel, but they themselves have also explicitly called for throwing the Jews and the Zionists into the Mediterranean Sea. IRGC commander Gen. Hossein Salami said in 2018 that "there is no path other than throwing [the Israelis] into the sea," and in 2020 he called on the citizens of Israel to "take a good look at the Mediterranean Sea," which, he said, will be their "final dwelling place." In a 2019 Friday sermon, Majlis member and Friday preacher Mohammad Baqer Ebadi referenced Gen. Salami's statements, and, addressing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, told him to start to "learn how to swim in the Mediterranean Sea."
In addition to his lie that Iran has never said, or wanted, for the Jews or Zionists to be thrown into the Mediterranean, Khamenei has on occasion, in response to pressure from Western elements, tempered and nuanced his rhetoric about the destruction of Israel as a state. He has done this with the proposal – disingenuous in light of the UN's ratification of the Partition Plan in 1947 – for a "democratic" vote, or referendum, in which some of Israel's residents would participate: all the Palestinians within Israel in addition to all those in the global Palestinian diaspora, and the small percentage of the Jewish population within Israel that was present in British Mandatory Palestine prior to 1948. For an overview of the various ways that Iran has proposed Israel be destroyed, whether by war or by referendum, 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.
He has done this with the proposal – disingenuous in light of the UN's ratification of the Partition Plan in 1947 – for a "democratic" vote, or referendum, in which some of Israel's residents would participate: all the Palestinians within Israel in addition to all those in the global Palestinian diaspora, and the small percentage of the Jewish population within Israel that was present in British Mandatory Palestine prior to 1948.
Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei (Source: Khamenei.ir, November 29, 2023)
MEMRI will also soon be publishing a report about the recent spike of calls in Iran for the destruction of Israel since the October 7, 2023 Hamas massacres in southern Israel.
This report will refute Khamenei's lies that Iran has not called to throw the Jews or Zionists into the sea.
Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei: The Claims That Iran Wants To Throw The Jews Or Zionists Into The Sea Are False – We Have Never Said That
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On November 29, 2023, Iranian Supreme Leader Khamenei said at a meeting with Basij commanders and members that the claims that Iran wants to throw the Jews or Zionists into the sea are false. Asserting that Iran has never said such a thing, he instead attributed such statements to Arab spokesmen.
Khamenei said: "Some people in the world falsely claim that Iran maintains that the Jews or the Zionists should be thrown into the sea. This is untrue. These things were said in the past by some of the Arabs. We have never said this. We will throw no one into the sea.
"We support public opinion. That is, the government to be established [in Palestine] by the vote of the citizens of Palestine is what will determine [the future of] the citizens who are there [i.e. born in Israel] and of those who came [there] from other countries. Perhaps it [this Palestinian government] will decide that they will all stay in Palestine."[ii]
To view this clip of Khamenei's statements on MEMRI TV, click here or below:
IRGC Commander Gen. Hossein Salami: The Only Path Is To Throw The Israelis Into The Sea; The Israelis Must Look Closely At The Mediterranean Sea, Since It Will Be Their Final Dwelling Place
In an October 5, 2018 speech at a Basij parade in Esfahan, IRGC commander Gen. Hossein Salami said that Hizbullah, Iran's proxy in Lebanon and the most powerful group in Iran's resistance axis, is strong enough to destroy Israel without any involvement on Iran's part. In contrast to Khamenei's recent claims, Salami said that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu should learn how to swim in the Mediterranean Sea, since "there is no path other than throwing [the Israelis] into the sea [and] we will soon see the killing and destruction of the Zionist regime." The following is a translated excerpt from Salami's speech:
"There is one message to the Zionist regime, a regime which is America's puppet in the region, and which has none of the components of a state or government, and which is not a threat to [Iran], since our Hizbullah is enough to destroy this political [cancerous] growth. I say to the Prime Minister of the Zionist regime [Netanyahu] that instead of inciting the world against our [nuclear and military] achievements, he should learn to swim in the Mediterranean Sea. He should practice swimming, since there is no path other than throwing [the Israelis] into the sea. We will soon see the killing and destruction of the Zionist regime."[iii]
On February 2, 2020, at a ceremony commemorating the late IRGC Qods Force commander Gen. Qassem Soleimani, who was killed by the U.S. in January 2020, Salami also said:
"We have said to [the Israelis] many times: Do not count on America. America always arrives late, if it arrives at all. If you want to count on anything, take a good look at the sea, because that is where your final place dwelling place will be. I am referring to the Mediterranean Sea."
To view this clip of Gen. Salami on MEMRI TV, click here or below:
In Iranian Friday Sermon, Preacher Mohammad Baqer Ebadi Says: Netanyahu Should Learn How To Swim In The Mediterranean, It's The Only Way He Can Escape
On April 19, 2019, Mohammad Baqer Ebadi, Islamic scholar and Friday preacher in the city of Birjand, said that the Israelis have nowhere to run from destruction, since they are surrounded by Iran's proxies. Reiterating Gen. Salami's assertion that Prime Minister Netanyahu should learn how to swim in the Mediterranean, he added that the day of Israel's destruction is drawing near and that the Israelis will trample each other as they try to flee. He said:
"General Salami said something once – a brief remark that still bothers the Zionists. In one speech, he said: 'The Israelis have nowhere to run. In the north, they have Hizbullah. In another part, they have Hamas. On this side, they have Syria, and all around there are Muslim peoples, even though some of the governments have sold out.
"Salami said, 'Netanyahu should start learning how to swim in the Mediterranean Sea.' He meant that when Netanyahu wants to flee, this will be his only way of escape. This is why he should learn to swim. I hope Mr. Netanyahu learns quickly how to swim, because Salami has finally arrived. He is the commander of the army of Islam. If Netanyahu has not yet learned to swim, he should, before it's too late, because, Allah willing, the day is drawing near. According to some traditions, the wounded Zionists will step over their dead while trying to escape, but they will be killed."
To view this clip of Ebadi's statements on MEMRI TV, click here or below:
 The countdown's zero hour, January 1, 2040, is based on Khamenei's 2015 statement that "nothing will be left of Israel by 2040." The sign by the clock reads in Farsi, Arabic, and English: "[Number of days] left before [the] destruction of Israel. The Zionist regime will not survive the next 25 years." Source: Iusnews.ir, June 23, 2017. See also MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 6156, Iranian Supreme Leader Khamenei: 'In 25 Years There Will Be No Such Thing As The Zionist Regime In The Region'; America Is Worse Than Satan, September 9, 2015.
 Farsi.khamenei.ir/speech-content?id=54526, November 29, 2023.
 Aparat.com/v/UL4D8, October 5, 2018.