Iran - Israel Relations
Iran publically denies the Holocaust, and is the only country that openly calls for the annihilation of another state - the State of Israel. Iran has long been involved in the sponsoring and support of worldwide terror groups and has been officially implicated for its involvement in terrorist activities in several Western states. It provides aid in the form of weapons, training, and funding to Hamas and other Palestinian terrorist groups, Hizbullah in Lebanon, Iraq-based militants, and Taliban fighters in Afghanistan.
The Islamic Republic does not recognize Israel and officially condemns Zionism, the ideology of Israel, as a racist creed justifying the occupation of a Muslim holy land, Palestine. Since the creation of Israel in 1948, about 45,000 Iranian Jews have emigrated there, and many Jews in Iran keep in regular contact with relatives in Israel.
Iran has supported the position that the Israeli occupation of parts of their territories (part of southern Lebanon from 1978 until 2000 and Syria’s Golan Heights since 1967) is illegal under international law, as is the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories known as the West Bank, along the Jordan River, and the Gaza Strip. Like Lebanon and Syria, Iran held that the creation of Israel in 1948 on land that a UN partition resolution had allotted to a Palestinian state was a violation of that resolution and therefore illegal. For that reason, Iran refused to extend diplomatic recognition to Israel. In fact, one of the very first foreign policy initiatives of the provisional government in February 1979 was to rescind the de facto recognition that the shah had granted to Israel in the early 1960s and to turn the Israeli trade mission in Tehran over to the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).
Iran adopted an uncompromisingly hostile stand toward the Oslo peace process and the 1993 Palestinian-Israeli agreement, labeling Israel an illegitimate state that should cease to exist. Along with Syria, Iran was a principal sponsor of Hizballah in Lebanon and supported Hizballah’s military arm with money, arms, and training. Hizballah used these resources to shell Israeli settlements. Hizballah was also implicated in two bombings in Buenos Aires, of the Israeli embassy in 1992 and of a Jewish cultural center in 1995, in which a total of more than 100 persons were killed.
Support for Hizballah or Palestinian Islamic Jihad, not very costly in financial terms, enhanced Iran’s weight and role in the region. By playing the role of spoiler in the Arab-Israeli peace process, Iran sought leverage against the United States and Israel. Such policies also satisfied the aspirations of the radical faction within the ruling group.
Iranian President Rouhani said 20 August 2015 the desecration (sic) of the Al-Aqsa Mosque (in Jerusalem) more than four decades ago when the Zionists set fire to the Muslims first Qibla, displayed Israel's savagery and laid emphasis on the necessity for the worldwide Muslim community to keep vigilant. "That event meant that the aggressor and Zionist occupation regime does not respect any social and human principle, doesn't show mercy to the people, children and women, continues massacre and aggression and even desecrates the Muslim world's first Qibla and a place which is also respected by other divine religions."
Vice-Speaker of the Majlis, Mohammad Hassan Aboutorabi-Fard said 31 August 2015: "We will support any movement that confronts the Zionist regime and its state terrorism," Aboutorabi-Fard told reporters. He underlined that Iran supports the Islamic currents that are fighting against terrorism and the Zionists and it takes honor in such support.
Senior IRGC Commander Brigadier General Mohsen Kazzemeini said 02 September 2015 : "They (the US and the Zionists) should know that the Islamic Revolution will continue enhancing its preparedness until it overthrows Israel and liberates Palestine," IRGC's top commander in Tehran province, Brigadier General Mohsen Kazzemeini, told operating units in Tharallah Drills in the Iranian capital. "And we will continue defending not just our own country, but also all the oppressed people of the world, especially those countries that are standing on the forefront of confrontation with the Zionists," continued the General.
The “Zionist regime’s” collapse may occur in less than 25 years, said Brig. Gen. Ahmad Reza Pourdastan in an interview with Iran’s Al Alam TV, Tasnim News Agency reported on 26 Oxtober 2015. Ayatollah Khamenei said similarly in September 2015 that “God willing there will be nothing left of the Zionist regime in 25 years.” “Meanwhile, the heroic jihadi Islamic spirit will not leave the Zionists in peace for a second,” Khamenei had also added. In his remarks, Pourdastan said, “we are willing for Israel to take action [against Iran], so that we would turn the supreme leader’s remarks into reality as soon as possible.”
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