Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Wednesday said he seeks Israel’s destruction but not the annihilation of all Jews, after Israeli and American leaders accused him of encouraging genocide. He said Iran would support any nation or group that fights against Israel.
Khamenei was commenting on a poster published on his website that used the words “final solution” in calling for Israel’s destruction, a term usually associated with Nazi Germany’s efforts to eliminate all Jews during the Holocaust.
“Eliminating the Zionist regime doesn’t mean eliminating Jews. We aren’t against Jews. It means abolishing the imposed regime & Muslim, Christian & Jewish Palestinians choose their own govt & expel thugs like [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu,” Khamenei wrote on his Twitter account.
“This is ‘Eliminating Israel'” he explained, insisting “it will happen.”
He also claimed Israel only understood force and didn’t adhere by any treaty agreements.
“The nature of the Zionist regime is incompatible with peace because the Zionists seek to expand their territories & will certainly not be limited to what they have already occupied,” he said.
“Comprehensive struggles by the Palestinian nation — political, military & cultural — should continue till the usurpers submit to the referendum for the Palestinian nation,” Khamenei added.
Additionally, he said Iran would back anyone opposed to Israel.
“We will support and assist any nation or any group anywhere who opposes and fights the Zionist regime, and we do not hesitate to say this,” the Iranian leader said.
Iran funds terrorist groups sworn to Israel’s destruction, including the Lebanon-based Hezbollah and Gaza-based Hamas.
The statement from Khamenei came after Netanyahu and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo accused him of backing the Nazi’s final solution.
“He should know that any regime that threatens the destruction of the State of Israel faces a similar danger,” a statement from Netanyahu’s office said.
The poster, shared on Khamenei’s website, showed people celebrating at the Temple Mount compound in Jerusalem after apparently capturing it from Israel as a Palestinian flag is raised over the Al-Aqsa Mosque.
“Palestine Will Be Free. The final solution: Resistance until referendum,” the text on the poster says.
The poster later appeared to have been deleted from the website.
Khamenei has called for Israel’s destruction on numerous occasions and frequently refers to Israel as a “cancerous tumor.”