The Deputy Commander of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), Hossein Salami, recently threatened Israel on Iran's Channel 2 TV. (Image source: MEMRI)
Iran's military activities and clear public threats to annihilate Israel continue to grow in frequency and intensity. These moves not only instill fear, as they are doubtless meant to do; they also threaten to disrupt the international community. With such dire promises of conflict, it would be expected that the international news media and politicians throughout the world would have something to say about this situation. Instead, Iran's continued abusive behavior continues to be cozied up to at worst, or at best, ignored.
One of the core pillars and revolutionary ideals of the Islamic Republic is destroying the Jewish state. It is also one of the religious prophecies of the founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, and his successor, the current Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, that Israel will be eventually erased from the face of the earth. As Iran's theocratic establishment believes that the Supreme Leader is Allah's representative on earth, whatever words or desires the Supreme Leader utters are considered wishes, which must be brought to life by Allah's true believers.
While they progress toward destroying Israel, not only do Iranian leaders believe that they are inching closer to fulfilling a religious prophecy, they also see that they are gaining strategic and geopolitical victories -- in Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Lebanon and in the Gaza Strip. The Deputy Commander of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), Hossein Salami, recently threatened on Iran's Channel 2 TV that Israel is "vulnerable and bringing itself closer to death".
Salami recently made it vehemently clear the strategy of the Iranian government, stating:
"Our strategy is to erase Israel from the global political map. And, it seems that, considering the evil that Israel is doing, it is bringing itself closer to that."
In addition, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei recently posted a Twitter tirade against Israel. It stated that the, "the Zionist regime will perish in the not so far future."
This burst of confidence is bolstered by Iran's military buildup in Syria, among other places. The Syrian civil war has been viewed as a perfect environment for the Iranian leaders to advance and ultimately achieve their objective of destroying Israel. Iran has built, or is in the process of building, more than 10 military bases in Syria, some of which are near the Israeli border. Tehran has used this strategic position in Syria to fire rockets into Israel.
While many of the world leaders disregard Iran's evident intentions to destroy Israel, they always seems extremely quick to criticize Israel for actually defending the safety of its citizens. After Iran's unprovoked attacks on Israel and its military build-up in Syria were dismissed by the international community, Israel had no choice but to carry out its own strikes against the Iranian military bases and infrastructure that were threatening their country.
Unfortunately, some news outlets and politicians have been attempting to create a narrative to lead people to believe that the Iranian leaders' threats are just talk. Iran's leaders, however, continue to demonstrate their intentions not only with verbal threats, but with military actions as well. Since 1979, Iran has authorized firing rockets and missiles into Israel, and have also used proxies, such as Hamas and Hezbollah, to attack Israel viciously. Iran appears to have Israel solidly in its cross-hairs.
Apparently in a rush to provide cover for Iran, some world leaders have also, for years, been attempting to tell the public that there is a difference between "moderate" Iranian politicians and the hardliners. Unfortunately, that distinction is make-believe. Iran's current president, Hassan Rouhani, like the previous president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has called Israel a "cancerous tumor." Iranian politicians across the political spectrum (hardliners or "moderates") all agree on one thing: destroy Israel.
The Prime Minister of Hungary, Victor Orbán, previously pointed out the duplicity with which Israel is treated:
"The EU should value the efforts made by the state of Israel for stability in the region. This is of interest not only for Israel but for Europe, too, as it protects us from more and more migrant invasions... The EU's relations with Israel are not rational enough and need to be repaired. Instead of criticizing Israel, we should open the door to cooperation with Israel."
It is mind-boggling that some politicians and governments, including the EU, criticize Israel for its Middle East policy and then turn a blind eye to Iran's military buildup near Israel's border -- all while Iran fires missiles and rockets into Israel from Syria, ships ballistic missiles to Israel's self-declared enemy, Hezbollah, and continues to threaten to annihilate Israel in the near future.
When will the international community begin to take the Iranian government's clear verbal threats and physical aggression seriously? Or would the international community secretly like to see Israel destroyed, under Europe's Orwellian inversion of the words: "the peace process"?
Dr. Majid Rafizadeh is a business strategist and advisor, Harvard-educated scholar, political scientist, board member of Harvard International Review, and president of the International American Council on the Middle East. He has authored several books on Islam and US Foreign Policy. He can be reached at Dr.Rafizadeh@Post.Harvard.Edu