May 20, 2012 -- New York -- AJC called today’s Iranian vow to annihilate Israel another unmistakable signal that, despite international pressure to date, the regime in Tehran has not changed its genocidal aims.
“Iran has made clear through a record of deadly terrorism worldwide -- against the U.S., Argentina, Great Britain, Israel, Saudi Arabia, and others -- what it does without nuclear weapons. Now, just imagine what an Iran with nuclear-weapons capability would do,” said AJC Executive Director David Harris. “Iran’s military chief of staff has left no doubt what is the regime’s goal, and why, if further proof is needed, its nuclear program must be stopped.”
Major General Hassan Firouzabadi, chief of staff of the Iranian armed forces, declared today that “the Iranian nation is standing for its cause, which is the full annihilation of Israel.”
The (Iranian) Fars News Agency reported that General Firouzabadi made his threat during a speech in Tehran today. He also repeated Iran’s unwavering commitment to supporting Palestinians opposed to Israel’s very existence.
“General Firouzabadi’s brazen threat to destroy another UN member state, Israel, together with the risk that Iran's behavior will trigger a nuclear arms race in the volatile Middle East, should serve to further re-enforce -- indeed, bolster -- the sanctions against Iran, while, as President Barack Obama has said, keeping all options on the table,” said Harris.
The Iranian military commander’s comments come just before International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director Amano arrives in Tehran. He is trying again to reach an understanding with the Iranian regime ahead of Wednesday’s talks in Baghdad between representatives of Iran and the five UN Security Council permanent members plus Germany.
“General Firouzabadi’s comments are a timely and sobering reminder of the stakes involved,” said Harris. "They should also put to rest, once and for all, the fanciful views of those remaining political leaders, diplomats, and journalists who contend that Iran is a 'peaceful' nation which has simply been 'misunderstood' by the global community."