Iranian reformist defies official line on Israel

 Iranian reformist intellectual Sadegh Zibakalam (pictured) has possibly risked arrest – and worse –  by defying  the Iranian regime’s sworn objective, to destroy Israel, in this television interview. You can watch the MEMRI clip here.   (With thanks: Lily)

Iranian reformist intellectual Sadegh Zibakalam criticized the
Iranian regime on its stance on Israel, saying that by promoting calls
for the destruction of Israel, Iran was acting in violation of the U.N.
Charter. He further criticized Khamenei’s idea of a referendum on the
future of Israel, saying that it was unrealistic and furthermore, none
of Iran’s business, pointing out that Iran’s commitment to destroy
Israel was evident in its parading of long-range missiles with slogans
in Hebrew pronouncing that “Israel must be destroyed.” Zibakalam was
speaking in an interview held by the Iranian Ministry of Islamic Culture
and posted on its official YouTube account on November 13.

Zibakalam: “The UN officially recognized Israel, and Iran is a
member state. According to Article 1 of the UN charter, the UN member
states must not conduct acts of aggression against one another, and must
not wish death and destruction upon another nation.


“Iran should first withdraw from the UN before it may chant: ‘Death to Israel’ and ‘Israel must be destroyed.’


“What Palestinian political movement calls for the destruction of Israel?”

Interviewer: “The Islamic Jihad and Hamas…”

Zibakalam: “Absolutely not. Hamas calls for a Palestinian state. Where does it call for Israel’s destruction?


“Most of the Palestinians who became refugees in 1948, almost 70
years ago, are already dead, and some of them emigrated to Jordan,
Armenia, or Ethiopia. There are already second- and third-generation
(Palestinians) there. Are you really suggesting holding a referendum to
determine if they should return to Palestine or not? How would they even
identify them?


“Let’s say that a referendum is held tomorrow, and the Jews return to
where they lived 70 years ago, and the Palestinians return to where
they lived 70 years ago… Let’s assume that this were possible.”

Interviewer: “Are you saying that we shouldn’t care about this?”

Zibakalam: “No that’s not what I’m saying. I’m talking about
Iran’s mission to destroy Israel, and about our declarations that we
must destroy Israel…”

Interviewer: “We are not talking about destroying Israel with an atom bomb…”

Zibakalam: “Mr. Dehbashi, don’t argue with me. Don’t say:
‘We’re talking about a referendum, not about the destruction (of
Israel). When you write on your missiles ‘ Israel must be destroyed,’
it’s no joke. These missiles have a range of 2, 000-3, 000 kilometers, so
if you launch them from here, they will definitely hit Tel Aviv. You
write ‘Israel must be destroyed’ on the missiles in Hebrew, in order to
dispel any doubts (about our intentions). Is this really talking about
human rights? Who entrusted Iran with this mission? The Arabs? Did the
Arabs say: ‘Oh Iran, we are incapable of destroying Israel, and, you
know, we Arabs love you very much, so please come and do this for us’?!
Did the Palestinians say this? Did Hamas? Did the PLO? Did the
Palestinian parliament in exile say this? Is this written in our
constitution? Was there a poll in which the Iranian people said that
Israel must be destroyed? Does Islam say this? Who said that we must
destroy Israel?!


“There is a practical reason why they do not arrest me. They say to
themselves: Why arrest him? We can just call him and tell him to shut
up, and he won’t utter another word.

Read transcript in full


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