Pompeo accuses Iran of ‘echoing Hitler’s calls for genocide’

‘This depravity should dispel any notion the regime belongs in the community of nations,’ says US Secretary of State after Khamenei urges ‘final solution’ for Israel

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks during a press briefing at the State Department, May 20, 2020. (Nicholas Kamm/Pool Photo via AP)
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks during a press briefing at the State Department, May 20, 2020. (Nicholas Kamm/Pool Photo via AP)

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday accused the Iranian leadership of “echoing Hitler’s call for genocide” after Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called for “eliminating the Zionist regime.”

It is “incredible” that Iran’s foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and Khamenei “are echoing Hitler’s call for genocide,” Pompeo tweeted. “This depravity should dispel any notion the regime belongs in the community of nations. We stand with Germany and Israel against this oldest & most vile form of hatred, and say #NeverAgain”

Shortly after Pompeo tweeted his condemnation, the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East, Nikolay Mladenov, added a denunciation of his own.

“Dangerous calls for the destruction of #Israel should be condemned by all,” he tweeted. “Such inciteful rhetoric is a modern form of #antisemitism. The #UN will continue to stand against all forms of #racism, #hatred, and strive for #peace and stability in the #MiddleEast.”

Khamenei repeatedly called for Israel’s destruction this week.

“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,” he tweeted Wednesday.

“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,” he added the same day.

Khamenei also posted on his website an anti-Israel poster that invoked the term “final solution,” which is usually associated with Nazi Germany’s efforts to eliminate all Jews.

The poster 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.

A poster from Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s website calling for Israel’s destruction that uses the term “final solution,” which usually refers to the Nazi policy of genocide against Jews during the Holocaust. (via english.khamenei.ir)

The poster later appeared to have been deleted from the website.

Zarif on Thursday defended the poster, writing on Twitter that it was “disgusting that those whose civilization found a ‘Final Solution” in gas chambers attack those who seek a real solution at the ballot box, through a REFERENDUM.”

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif speaks on the second day of the Munich Security Conference in Munich, Germany, February 15, 2020. (AP Photo/Jens Meyer)

The European Union on Thursday evening condemned the Iranian leader’s threats against Israel with the bloc’s foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell issuing a consensus statement on behalf of all 27 members of the EU.

Such statements are totally unacceptable and represent a deep source of concern. They are also incompatible with the objective of a stable and peaceful Middle East region pursued by the EU,” the statement read. “The European Union reiterates its fundamental commitment to the security of Israel.”

Israel’s Ambassador to Germany Jeremy Issacharoff — who in previous positions at the Foreign Ministry focused on the Iranian threat — said Friday that the union’s statement did not go far enough.

Khamenei “did not just bring into question Israel’s legitimacy, he wrote explicitly about ‘eliminating the Zionist regime’ which goes from denying the Holocaust to promoting one,” the Israeli diplomat wrote on his Twitter account.

“The gravity of his remarks is not reflected in the EU reaction.”

He added that the EU “should go beyond words” in its response, though he did not go into further detail.

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