Israel must be “wiped off the map.” Zionism is a “germ of corruption” that “will be wiped off the face of the earth.” It is a “cancer cell” that must be “removed from the body.” The Zionist regime is “heading toward annihilation.” “They should know that they are nearing the last days of their lives.” “Israel is destined for destruction and will soon disappear.”
One is tempted to add: blah, blah, blah. It is easy to dismiss this rhetoric as being designed for domestic consumption. And soon after Iran’s June election, Ahmadinejad will be out of a job — history’s most persuasive argument in favor of term limits.
But the problem is this: Ahmadinejad’s language is not exceptional within the Iranian regime.
Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, also has referred to Israel as a “cancerous tumor.” “The perpetual subject of Iran,” he has explained, “is the elimination of Israel from the region.” “There is only one solution to the Middle East problem, namely the annihilation and destruction of the Jewish state.” In recent weeks, Khamenei has promised, if the Iranian nuclear program is attacked, to “level down Tel Aviv and Haifa.”
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