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President Obama has shown remarkable sympathy for the mentality of the mullahs ruling Iran, most recently in this past Friday’s year-end press conference from which I quoted in “Sympathy for the mullahs.” The mullahs are not shy about making their views known. The Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs has documented the mullahs’ attitude toward Israel and Jews since 2008. Last year it published a supplement covering 2009-2012.

This year IDF Lt. Col. (ret.) Michael Segall and Daniel Rubenstein update the previous compilations with 20 threats Iranian leaders made against Israel in 2013. They write:

In 2013, a new Iranian president, Hassan Rouhani, was sworn into office. While more soft-spoken than his predecessor – and widely described as a “moderate” – Rouhani has nonetheless referred to “the Zionist regime” as an enemy nation and pledged to find a way to achieve Khomeini’s long-term goal of ensuring that Israel ceases to exist.

In some of the statements that appear below, there are Iranian leaders who couch their calls for Israel’s destruction in the language of a retaliatory operation. But ultimately they derive their position from Khomeini’s ideological legacy, which did not make Israel’s elimination contingent upon Israel striking first. Moreover, when the Iranians fasten signs on trucks carrying their Shahab-3 missiles calling for Israel to be wiped off the map, they leave little doubt as to their mission, without any qualifications.

Making the list at number 19 is this quote from Ahmad Alamolhoda of the Assembly of Experts: “The destruction of Israel is the idea of the Islamic Revolution in Iran and is one of the pillars of the Iranian Islamic regime. We cannot claim that we have no intention of going to war with Israel!”

Segal and Rubenstein conclude their compilation with these observations:

The danger of the Iranian regime is not confined to the rhetoric of its leaders. As demonstrated in the above quotes, Iran’s desire to see Israel destroyed is clear, but even more worrisome is the fact that the Islamic Republic is developing the capabilities that will enable it to carry out its intentions.

The Iranian Armed Forces regularly hold military parades in Tehran. One of the main displays in such parades are truckloads of Shahab-3 missiles, which have a range of 1,300 km. (800 miles) – far enough to strike Israel. Fixed on the front or side of these missile trucks are banners that read, “Israel must be wiped off the map.” The message is often translated into English by the Iranians themselves.

On Sep. 22, 2013, Iran’s new president, Hassan Rouhani, attended a military parade, reviewed the forces, and addressed the crowd. He was accompanied by the heads of the Iranian Armed Forces. Seated to his right was the Chief of Staff, Maj. Gen. Hassan Firouzabadi, and to his left was the commander of the Revolutionary Guards, Gen. Mohammad-Ali Jafari.

As in the past, the parade in 2013 contained a blatant statement calling for Israel’s destruction. On the lead vehicle of a line of trucks transporting Shahab-3 missiles, there appeared a banner that read in Persian, “Esraail baayad az beyn beravad,” which means “Israel should cease to exist.”

Could the message be any clearer? Iran broadcast its desire to destroy Israel on top of the missile that can strike Israel and fulfill that desire.

As if that was not enough cause for concern, the International Atomic Energy Agency warned in a May 2011 report of Iranian efforts “involving the removal of the conventional high explosive payload from the warhead of the Shahab-3 missile and replacing it with a spherical nuclear payload.”

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