Iran's Ayatollah calls Zionism a 'virus'

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Israel’s establishment is an unequalled 'crime against humanity'


Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has said Israel’s establishment is an unequalled “crime against humanity” — days after he sparked fury by unveiling a poster that used the term “final solution” in relation to a Palestinian takeover of Jerusalem.

Speaking last Friday as Iran marked its annual anti-Israel Quds Day, Ayatollah Khamenei compared Zionism to “a virus” and a “cancerous tumour” adding that Israel “must be eliminated as soon as possible”.

His outspoken attack came after he  published a poster on his website that showed people celebrating at the Temple Mount compound in Jerusalem after apparently capturing it from Israel.

The wording on the poster stated: “Palestine Will Be Free. The final solution: Resistance until referendum.”

The poster was taken down but on Monday Israel asked Twitter to suspend Khamenei’s account for what it said were “antisemitic and genocidal messages”.

Israel’s Strategic Affairs Minister Orit Farkash-Hacohen sent a letter to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey calling for the “immediate suspension” of Khamenei’s account.

The social media company were yet to respond.

On Tuesday President Hassan Rouhani instructed his government to implement new parliamentary legislation banning the use of any Israeli products in the country, including computer hardware or software.

The law was adopted unanimously by Iranian MPs last week. It brands any cooperation with Israel an act against God.

Meanwhile, Iran’s Chief Rabbi has claimed Benjamin Netanyahu and “the Zionists” do not represent Judaism in an attack designed to chime with the views of the Supreme Leader.

In a speech broadcast on Iranian television, Rabbi Yehuda Gerami, the head rabbi of the Iranian Jewish community, said: “We Iranian Jews want to send this message to the Zionists and first and foremost to Netanyahu.

“Know that you Zionists do not represent Judaism and do not represent the Jewish people.

“You only represent the idea of a political movement whose ideas and values oppose the ideas and values of our holy Torah and the Jewish religion.”

Rabbi Gerami delivered his speech in Hebrew as Iran marked Al Quds Day.

Quds Day, which Iran has marked since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, is usually commemorated with regime-orchestrated demonstrations across Iran and in other countries, including the UK.

But messages were televised or screened online this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Repeating this anti-Zionist message, Iran’s only Jewish parliamentarian, Siamak Moreh Sedgh, last week called on Jews worldwide to rise up against Israel.

Mr Moreh Sedgh called the Jewish state “the catastrophe of Zionism.’’

In January, Rabbi Gerami led a delegation of Iranian Jews to pay their respects to assassinated Iranian general Qassem Soleimani, held responsible for the killing of thousands of people around the world.

Before the Islamic Revolution in 1979, there were some 100,000 Jews in Iran but according to an Iranian census that number had fallen to below 10,000 by 2016.

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