Khamenei Speaks on Gaza
[The perpetrators and supporters of these crimes should be put on trial and punished on an international level.
OE Watch Commentary: The Islamic Republic of Iran has traditionally designated the last Friday of Ramadan—the month of dawn-to-dusk fasting—as Qods [Jerusalem] Day and used the occasion to focus the Iranian populace on the regime’s goal to delegitimize, if not destroy Israel. Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s sermon delivered on Eid al-Fitr, the feast day marking the end of Ramadan, reinforces the regime’s hostility toward Israel’s existence and gives Israel’s destruction his religious imprimatur. While Khamenei’s rhetoric may have been particularly vitriolic this year against the backdrop of fighting between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip, his implied threats suggest that whatever the progress of diplomacy between Iran and the West over Iran’s nuclear program, and despite rhetoric moderation in the speeches and twitter feeds of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, there will be no moderation in Iranian government policy toward Israel and its existence. Throughout the entire sermon, only a small portion of which is excerpted here, Khamenei honors and supports continued resistance, a euphemism for terrorism, and also implicitly endorses Hamas vis-à-vis more moderate factions within the Palestinian Authority.
Khamenei’s call for all Islamic countries—of which Iran sees itself as the vanguard--to arm the resistance suggests that Tehran will continue its violent opposition to the Middle East peace process and work to rearm Hamas in the Gaza Strip, regardless of any ceasefire agreement which might be negotiated. As worrisome is Khamenei’s call not only for leading Israeli officials, but also Israel’s supporters globally to be targeted. While Iranian officials could claim that a close reading of the speech suggests Khamenei seeks only legal actions against past and present Israeli officials and their supporters, the broader context of the speech suggests that Khamenei would not be adverse to violence and retaliation against them, even years into the future.
Khamenei’s position suggests that the animosity toward Israel that remains a central pillar of the Islamic Republic is rooted not in any particular grievance, but rather in the regime’s ideology, and that there will be no end to Iran’s support for proxy terrorist groups in the Middle East. End OE Watch Commentary (Rubin)
Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. Source: Wikipedia
Source: “Khutbeh-ha-ye Namaz Eid Sa’id Fitr” (“Prayer Sermons for Eid al-Fitr”),, 29 July 2014.
Sermons for Eid al-Fitr Prayers
Three points need to be said about the issue of Gaza: The first point is that what the leaders of the Zionist regime are doing today is genocide and a great historical catastrophe. The perpetrators and supporters of these crimes should be put on trial and punished on an international level. Their punishment is what people’s representatives and righteous and sympathetic personalities in the world should request. And they should not escape punishment with the passage of time. They should be punished, whether they are in power or when they lose their power and are overthrown. Both the perpetrators of these crimes and those who are openly supporting them - you have heard and seen the news about their support - should be punished….
The second point is that we should see the power of endurance and resistance of a people who have stood up for their legitimate claims….
And the third point is that the political leaders of arrogance say, ‘We should disarm Hamas and Jihad....’ The President of America has issued a fatwa [religious judgment] saying that the resistance should be disarmed. Of course, it is clear that you want it to be disarmed so that it cannot deliver any blow against these crimes. But we say that the opposite should happen. The entire world - particularly the world of Islam - should provide the people of Palestine with as many weapons as they can.