President Reuven Rivlin told members of the diplomatic corps on Monday that it is unacceptable for Iran to be given ever more legitimacy while it continues to threaten to destroy Israel.
Rivlin and his wife, Nechama Rivlin, hosted foreign diplomats at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem for a festive reception ahead of the Jewish new year holiday Rosh Hashanah, which begins on Wednesday night.
“The fact that Iran continues to regain more and more legitimacy, while Iranian leadership continues to call for Israel’s destruction, is unacceptable,” Rivlin said. “This does not promote humanistic values, values that are at the heart of our peoples, of our countries, and of our friendships.
“Because the idea of the nation-state is so important to international cooperation, we must all work together to stop the attacks on its legitimacy,” the president added. “Such actions and statements that we hear against Israel – denying our rights and threatening our existence – are unacceptable. They do not promote understanding or cooperation among nations.”
His comments came as Iran’s newly appointed army chief warned Monday that the Islamic Republic would raze the Israeli cities of Tel Aviv and Haifa if the “Zionist regime” makes “any wrong move.”
In remarks delivered at an event in the city of Qom, General Abdolrahim Mousavi also echoed previous warnings that Israel will not exist in 25 years.
Mousavi, who issued a nearly identical threat last month, was appointed in August as the commander of the Iranian army, an entity separate from the country’s Revolutionary Guards Corps.
His comments recalled a prediction made by Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in 2015.
In a quote posted to Twitter by Khamenei’s official account in September that year, the Iranian leader addressed Israel, saying, “You will not see next 25 years,” and said that the Jewish state will be hounded until it is destroyed.