After Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei reportedly called Israel a “rabid dog” during a defiant speech on Wednesday, the Twitter account associated with the senior Iranian cleric reiterated the slur Thursday morning and to emphasize the point included a photo of Israel Defense Forces soldiers along with a dog and what appears to be a Palestinian woman.
Here is the tweet along with the photo:
Iran experts believe the Twitter feed is managed by Khamenei's office.
Though news agencies reported that Khamenei called Israel a “rabid dog” during the speech, Al-Monitor Iran Pulse Editor Arash Karami wrote that Khamenei was referring specifically to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as the “unclean rabid dog.”
Characterizing Khamenei’s words as “harsher language than usual,” Iran watcher Karami posted this translation for the controversial quote, “Is the Islamic system after a war with others?” asked Khamenei. “Sometimes this is heard from the enemies of Iran, such as from the sinister mouth of the unclean rabid dog of the region in the Zionist regime,” he said, referring to Israeli’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, per Karami.
Khamenei appeared to threaten Israel’s existence which Iranian officials have in the past articulated, saying, “The Zionist regime is an imposed regime, and whatever comes out of force is not durable and this regime will not endure.”
“The Iranians deny our past and repeat their commitment to wipe the State of Israel off the map. This reminds us of the dark regimes of the past that plotted against us first and then against all of humanity,” Netanyahu said on Thursday during a visit to Moscow.
Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman on Thursday reacted to Khamenei's words, saying he is “someone who uses the words of Goebbels and Hitler when talking about the Jews.”
The speech has shown that Iran “certainly does not aim to acquire nuclear power for peaceful purposes,” Liberman said according to the Times of Israel.
Iran Wire reported that Khamenei stressed in his speech that Israeli leaders should not be called human. Besides the rabid dog comparison, Khamenei described the Israeli leadership as “savages” and “religiously unclean.”
During his speech delivered to 50,000 Basij volunteer militiamen, Khamenei also lashed out at the U.S., which he called the “leader of the arrogance.”
According to Ali Alfoneh, a senior fellow at the Washington-based Foundation for Defense of Democracies, Khamenei compared the U.S. to a different animal – not a dog - employing the phrase “camel-like American vengeance.”
The crowd was heard repeatedly chanting “Death to America” and "Death to Israel," as Khamenei blasted the U.S. for transgressions ranging from slavery to the Abu Ghraib prison scandal to the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
He even weighed in on the U.S. government shutdown. “Rather than military threats, go repair your ruined economy, do something so your government is not shut down for fifteen to sixteen days. Go repay your debts and think of bringing order in your economic affairs,” he said.
BuzzFeed reported on Wednesday that a senior U.S. administration official would say only that Khamenei’s “rabid dog” diatribe was “uncomfortable” but did not go so far as to condemn it as unacceptable, as the French did.
“Of course I don’t ever like it when people use rhetoric that in any way talks about the U.S. in ways that I find very uncomfortable and not warranted whatsoever,” the official told reporters on the sidelines of negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program in Geneva (see related post on TheBlaze blog).
Israeli Foreign Minister Liberman on Thursday called on Western negotiators to “pay attention” to Khamenei’s words.
”The speech by Ali Khamenei, Iran’s supreme leader, is the true face of the Iranian regime, not the false representation that [Iranian President Hassan] Rouhani and his people are showing the world,” Liberman said.
Despite the soft American response to the Iranian rhetoric, Iran analyst Alfoneh wrote, “His speech, in fact, casts a shadow over the Geneva talks.”
“Khamenei’s speech bodes poorly for the deal Western governments may strike in Geneva. If they remain focused on the softer words of Rouhani and foreign minister Javad Zarif, they do so to their own detriment. Ignoring Khamenei’s jarring display of defiance will haunt the West when it is Tehran’s turn to deliver on its promises and implement the Geneva agreement,” Alfoneh wrote.
(H/T: Times of Israel)