Khamenei says Iran wants removal of Israel state not people

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said “the ‘abolition of the Israeli regime’ ... does not mean the abolition of Jewish people; we have no problem with them.” (File/AFP)
Updated 15 November 2019

Khamenei says Iran wants removal of Israel state not people

  • Khamenei said the future of the land should be decided by Palestinians of all faiths
  • The Iranian government refers to Israel as the “Zionist regime”

TEHRAN: Iran’s supreme leader said Friday that calls for the abolition of Israel which have sparked outrage in the West target the “imposed state” not the Jewish people.
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said the future of the land should be decided by Palestinians of all faiths, Jewish as well as Christian and Muslim.
“The ‘abolition of the Israeli regime’ ... does not mean the abolition of Jewish people; we have no problem with them,” Khamenei told a meeting of Islamic countries in Tehran, according to his official website.
It means “abolition of the imposed regime and state, that the Palestinian people, whether Muslim, Christian or Jewish... choose their own government and oust thugs like (Benjamin) Netanyahu,” he added, referring to Israel’s prime minister.
The Iranian government does not recognize Israel, referring to it as the “Zionist regime,” and support for the Palestinian cause has been a constant feature of its foreign policy since the Islamic revolution of 1979.
Iran openly supports Israeli foes like Hamas and Islamic Jihad in the occupied Palestinian territories and Hezbollah in Lebanon.
“We are not anti-semitic. Jews are living in utmost safety in our country. We only support the people of Palestine and their independence,” he said.
Khamenei said that the “enemies of Islam,” including Israel and the United States, seek to sow discord between Islamic countries and called for unity in the face of the “common enemy.”
Tensions between Tehran and Washington have soared since President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew from a landmark 2015 nuclear deal last year and reimposed crippling sanctions as part of a policy of “maximum pressure.”
Since then the arch-foes have come to the brink of military confrontation after drones were downed and tankers and Saudi oil installations mysteriously attacked.


Anger at Erdogan’s ‘sea grab’ in the Mediterranean

Updated 06 December 2019

Anger at Erdogan’s ‘sea grab’ in the Mediterranean

  • Cyprus petitioned the International Court of Justice in The Hague on Thursday to safeguard its offshore mineral rights

ANKARA: President Recep Tayyip Erdogan faced growing anger on Thursday over Turkey’s “sea grab” in the Mediterranean.

Ankara signed a maritime border agreement last month with the Libyan government in Tripoli that gives Turkey control over a vast area of sea stretching from its southern coast to North Africa. The Turkish Parliament approved the deal last night.

The agreement gives Turkey lucrative rights to drill for oil and gas in areas that include the island of Crete’s territorial waters. Ankara says such islands are not entitled to territorial waters.

The deal has infuriated Greece, Cyprus and Egypt, who dismissed it as “illegal.” Cyprus petitioned the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague on Thursday to safeguard its offshore mineral rights. The ICJ has the power to issue binding decisions on countries that recognize its jurisdiction.

President Nicos Anastasiades said the island was committed to protecting its sovereign rights with every legal means possible. “Our recourse to The Hague has that very purpose,” he said.

The maritime border deal was also condemned by Khalifa Haftar, commander of the rival Libyan National Army in the eastern city of Benghazi. Haftar said the government in Tripoli had no authority to sign such an agreement, which was therefore void.