As if freak explosions and sneaky computer viruses weren’t enough, Iranian public figures have recently accused Jews and Israelis of wielding magic and sorcery against the Islamic Republic. But not against the country’s suspicious nuclear program. No, no: Those sneaky Jews just wanted to rig the Iranian elections, with magic.

In a speech to religious students on April 20, Mehdi Taeb, who heads a think tank and is considered close to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, said that Jews are powerful sorcerers who have used their abilities to attack Iran. He noted that while “the Jews” had yet to unleash their full powers, their abilities were negated after they tried to use magic to interfere with the Iranian elections of 2008 and 2009.

“The Jews are currently subjecting us to an unprecedented trial,” Taeb said, according to a translation provided by the Middle East Media Research Institute. “As you read in the Koran, [King] Solomon ruled the world… and God ordered a group of sorcerers to come out against him. The Jews have the greatest powers of sorcery, and they make use of this tool.

“All the measures that have been brought against us originate with the Zionists,” he continued. “The US is a tool in their hands. So far, they have not used the full [scope of] their sorcery against us. Sorcery was the final means to which they resorted during the [Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad era, but they were defeated. This ability of the Jews was eliminated by Iran. Five years ago they tried to oust Ahmadinejad [by this means].”

An article on Jewish mysticism and numerology published in March on Rasanews.ir, an Iranian Islamic news site, alleged that “the Jews have always tended to resort to divination, [a practice] that has its roots in astronomy, astrology and sorcery, [which they picked up] when they consorted with various peoples in the course of history. They cherished this [knowledge] like a treasure, generation after generation… The [Jewish] people think that ruling over man, nature, and divine traditions can be achieved only by means of sorcery. They believe that it is possible to conquer nature and control the world, and even to control God’s decisions, by using sorcery methods.”