The New York Times today has a story with a scary headline: “Iran’s Supreme Leader Says Israel Won’t Exist in 25 Years.” The first sentence repeats the idea that Iran’s leaders don’t want “Israel” to be around much longer.
This sounds alarming unless you’re familiar with the way the mainstream press has twisted Iranian leaders’ statements in the past. So patience is required because in the third paragraph Ayatollah Khamenei makes clear that he means not “Israel” but the “Zionist regime.”
“After nuclear negotiations, the Zionist regime said that they will not be worried about Iran in the next 25 years,” Ayatollah Khamenei wrote. “I am telling you, first, you will not be around in 25 years’ time, and God willing, there will be no Zionist regime in 25 years. Second, during this period, the spirit of fighting, heroism and jihad will keep you worried every moment.”
The name “Israel” never appears in any quote in this story. Just “the Zionist regime.” I would make the same distinction, actually; I want “Iran” to be around for much more than 25 years but I want the ayatollahs’ “theocratic regime” to be ended as soon as possible by a democratic movement among its population.
And many of us here at Mondo also want the “Zionist regime” in Israel to be gone a lot sooner than 25 years — and replaced by a democratic state or states that respect human rights.