Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s most recent call for the destruction of Israel represented his most comprehensively antisemitic speech ever and is particularly “ominous” in light of Tehran’s continued quest for nuclear capability, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) warned.
Addressing a group of ambassadors from Islamic countries last week, Ahmadinejad said the “annihilation of the Zionist regime” is not just a Palestinian issue, but the “key for solving the world problems,” and he slammed U.S. leaders for “kissing the feet of the Zionists.”
Aug. 17th’s annual Quds Day – Jerusalem Day – “is not merely a strategic solution for the Palestinian problem, as it is to be viewed as a key for solving the world problems,” Ahmadinejad was quoted as saying. “Any freedom lover and justice seeker in the world must do its best for the annihilation of the Zionist regime in order to pave the path for the establishment of justice and freedom in the world.”
“It has now been some 400 years that a horrendous Zionist clan has been ruling the major world affairs,” added Ahmadinejad, asserting that the Zionists are “behind the scenes of the major power circles, in political, media, monetary and banking organizations in the world.”
The ADL noted in a statement last Thursday that this speech differed from past antisemitic rants by the Iranian leader in that he no longer tried to hide the fact that by “Zionists” he does not mean Israelis, but Jews.
“In his bluntness, Ahmadinejad cuts through the false dichotomy of anti-Zionism and antisemitism when he uses the term ‘Zionist’ to describe alleged Jewish control of the world for 400 years,” said ADL director Abraham Foxman.
Foxman said that while the message itself has been heard before, Ahmadinejad’s words had “more ominous overtones and should be taken seriously as the Iranian regime continues on its march toward a nuclear weapon.”
Ahmadinejad also made reference to U.S. Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney’s visit to Israel last week, saying that the influence of the Zionist regime is so profound that “the presidential election hopefuls must go kiss the feet of the Zionists to ensure their victory in the election… If the people’s votes really counts in those countries, why then a candidate must go to kiss the feet of a clandestine Zionist minority, sacrificing the entire prestige, chanted mottoes, and values of their system before the Zionists, and justifying the entire criminal acts of that regime?”
Foxman said that Ahmadinejad’s remarks were “filled with antisemitism and expressions of contempt for Israel and its leaders.” He called them the “hallmark of the hate-filled and irrational nature of the Iranian regime.”
In related news, Iran denied a report that some computers at the country’s nuclear facilities were hit with a virus that shut them down and played the AC/DC song Thunderstruck at full blast.
The head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, Fereidoun Abbasi, called the report “incorrect,” according to Bloomberg News, citing the Iranian Students News Agency. He did not elaborate on the issue.
With files from JTA