This letter was published in Guardian 3 July 2015
The Iranian foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, makes a constructive case for a new dialogue between Iran and other nations. (Guardian Comment 31 July) But his argument would be all the stronger were it not for the pervasive Jew-hate emanating from Iran and calls by its leaders for the destruction of the one nation-state in the world where Jews face no persecution.
Here, for example, is the Ayatollah Khamenei last year: “This barbaric, wolflike & infanticidal regime of Israel which spares no crime has no cure but to be annihilated.”
Or Mohammad Ali Jafari, the commander-in-chief of the Revolutionary Guard who said earlier this year “The Revolutionary Guards will fight to the end of the Zionist regime … We will not rest easy until this epitome of vice is totally deleted from the region’s geopolitics.”
There are many more examples of such vile, racist, eliminationist language from senior Iranian leaders or their allies in Hezbollah.
We may all welcome the Iran deal and hope it works but until Iranian leaders repudiate their anti-Jewish ideology and their persistent eliminationist talk about Jews in Israel it is hard to see where much common ground between democracies and Iran is to be found.