Iranian Official Says Israel Must be Destroyed
General calls for support of Palestinian cause ahead of al-Quds Day
A senior Iranian defense official says that destroying Israel is the only viable option to stop “injustices” by the Jewish state against Palestinians.
Gholam Reza Jalali, head of an Iranian military unit in charge of fighting sabotage said Wednesday that the upcoming international al-Quds Day “is an expression of the fact that there is no other way but to stand firm and resist until Israel is destroyed.”
Al-Quds Day will be commemorated this Friday, as millions of Shiites in Iran, Pakistan, south Lebanon and Bahrain are set to protest Israel’s actions.
A rally will also take place at Queen’s Park in Toronto, Ont. this Saturday as this year’s annual International Day of al-Quds will be commemorated on the legislature’s grounds.
Organizers say they plan to “express solidarity with all the oppressed of the world” and to “particularly remember the innocent civilians of Palestine who have been, and continue to be victimized by the oppressive and racist Zionist regime,” at this year’s demonstration.
“The world's Muslims must help and support the Palestinian people until Palestine is liberated,” said Jalali in a statement, adding that Iran is more steadfast than ever in the face of “Zionist threats” and that Syria's Islamic front has become stronger as well.
Meanwhile, U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Tuesday he does not believe Israel has decided yet on whether or not to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities, which Israeli officials believe Iran is using to build nuclear weapons.
Panetta, who visited Israel two weeks ago, told reporters at the Pentagon that acting on military options must be the “last resort” and said there was still time for sanctions and diplomatic pressure to work.
Michael Oren, Israel’s ambassador to the U.S. told CNN Monday that this window of time is now “small and the window is getting smaller.”
Israel is prepared for a 30-day war on multiple fronts should it decide to strike Iran, outgoing home front defense minister Matan Vilnai told the Maariv newspaper on Wednesday.
Vilnai said Israel is "ready as never before" for such a clash and is prepared to face the consequences that an attack on Iran could carry. He warned that any military action should be planned carefully and cautioned that Israel should "always coordinate" with U.S. officials.
Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast doubted that Israel would launch an attack, telling reporters on Tuesday that “even if the Israeli government decides to make such a stupid move, it will not happen and Israel will suffer the consequences.”