Israel will not survive the next 25 years, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Wednesday, making a series of threatening remarks published online.
In a quote posted to Twitter by Khamenei’s official account, Khamenei addresses Israel, saying, “You will not see next 25 years,” and adds that the Jewish state will be hounded until it is destroyed.
The quote comes against a backdrop of a photograph apparently showing the Iranian leader walking on an Israeli flag painted on a sidewalk.
“After negotiations, in Zionist regime they said they had no more concern about Iran for next 25 years; I’d say: Firstly, you will not see next 25 years; God willing, there will be nothing as Zionist regime by next 25 years. Secondly, until then, struggling, heroic and jihadi morale will leave no moment of serenity for Zionists,” the quote from Iran’s top leader reads in broken English.
The quote was apparently taken from a speech given earlier in the day.
The remarks came as US lawmakers began to debate supporting a recent nuclear agreement between Tehran and six world powers. Critics of the deal have pointed to fiery anti-US and anti-Zionist rhetoric as proof that the regime should not be trusted.
The White House and other deal boosters argue that the pact, meant to keep Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon, is based on verification, not trust.
Khamenei’s statements also reaffirmed his view that the US is a “Great Satan” and that there would be no detente with Washington beyond the nuclear talks.
“We approved talks with the United States about [the] nuclear issue specifically. We have not allowed talks with the US in other fields and we [do] not negotiate with them,” Khamenei said in statements published on his website.
Khamenei is quoted as saying any other talks would be “a tool for penetration and imposing their demands.”
On Twitter, Khamenei said talks with the US were a “means of infiltration and imposition of their wills.”
Quoting the founder of the Islamic Republic and his predecessor as Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, Khamenei tweeted: “@IRKhomeini stated “US is the Great Satan,” some insist on depicting this Great Satan as an angel.”
The Twitter handle @IRKhomeini is an Iranian government account dedicated to Khomeini’s statements.
Some have pointed to the nuclear deal as an opening for Iran to repair long-frayed ties with the West.
Several senior European officials have traveled to Iran since the nuclear deal was reached to boost economic and diplomatic ties, including Austrian President Heinz Fischer, who on Monday became the first European leader to visit Tehran in over a decade.
On Tuesday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani signaled that Iran is ready to hold talks with world powers on ways to resolve Syria’s civil war — provided such negotiations could secure peace and democracy in the conflict-torn country, he said.
Iran, together with Russia, backs the embattled regime of Bashar Assad, who is opposed by much of the West.
AP contributed to this report.