(CNSNews.com) – A photograph posted on Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s official website--as the Obama administration was finalizing negotiations on a deal intended to prevent Iran from building a nulcear weapon--shows the walking stick-waving supreme leader striding across, and apparently glaring at, a painted representation of Israel’s national flag.
The caption on the photo, according to a translation by American Enterprise Institute scholar Michael Rubin, reads, “The Zionist Regime is Condemned to Vanish.”
“The Zionist regime is a regime with very shaky pillars,” the caption continues. “The Zionist regime is doomed. The Zionist regime is an imposed regime and was created with intimidation. Nothing created with intimidation can last long and this one will not last long either.”
The photo was posted last Thursday (18 Tir, 1394 on the Persian calendar), on the eve of Iran’s annual “Quds [Jerusalem] Day” – also dubbed “Death to Israel Day” since chants to that effect typically characterize rallies across in the country, along with “Death to America.”
Commenting on the decision to post the photo and caption at this time, Rubin wrote on the AEI blog, “So much for peace and so much for ‘Dialogue of Civilizations.’”
“But why should Israel worry?” he continued. “After all, President Obama has made Israel’s security a red-line, and when are Obama’s red-lines not to be believed? (Full-disclosure: I tried to ask some Ukrainians this, but the Russians occupying their country had cut the phone lines, and all the Syrians I sought to contact had been displaced by Bashar al-Assad’s chemical weapons use).”
“Then again, Obama from the start has been all about hope. So let’s hope that all Khamenei aims to do with the $100 billion windfall he is due to receive because of the pending nuclear deal will be to order millions more pavement murals of symbols of Judaism upon which Iran’s supreme leader can trample during his morning constitutional,” Rubin wrote.
“Ballistic missiles? Nuclear warheads? What? Me worry?”
Commenting on some of the images seen during this year’s Quds Day events, House Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Rep. Ed Royce (R-Calif.) said he hoped the Obama administration was taking note and understood why so many were worried that concessions being offered to Iran in the talks would place it “on a glide path to a nuclear weapons capability.”
“It’s nearly 100 degrees in Tehran, but the crowds are undeterred,” Royce said in a statement. “A fireman was seen standing on top of his truck, cooling down the crowd with his hose while shouting ‘Death to America!’ They are burning Israel’s flag, and one banner – reminiscent of Nazi propaganda – has the Star of David designed into the face of an ‘evil Jew,’ wearing a skullcap with America’s stars and stripes.”
“These rallies are a mass spectacle of racist propaganda, but they are no mere sideshow,” Royce said. “This is business as usual for the supreme leader, with the enthusiastic support of the so-called ‘moderates’ in the Iranian regime, including President Hassan Rouhani, who was in attendance, and [lead nuclear negotiator] Foreign Minister Javad Zarif.”
Bizarrely, Iran’s Tehran Times published an article on Sunday taking issue with the fact that Western and Israeli media reports linked the annual anti-Israel day rallies with the nuclear talks underway in Vienna.
“Media attempts to imply Quds Day undermining Iran’s diplomatic moves,” ran the headline.
“A number of Western and Israeli newspapers and news agencies have represented Iran's Friday march marking Quds Day as a move incongruous with efforts by the Islamic Republic to improve its political relations with the world,” the article stated.
“The said media have especially tried to imply that the rallies undermine Iran’s diplomatic efforts to reach a deal on the country’s nuclear program with world powers.”
The day after Quds Day, Khamenei told students in Tehran that fighting the United States – “global arrogance” in the parlance of the Islamic Republic – is “one of the principles of the [Islamic] Revolution.”
“According to Qur’anic principles, fighting against arrogance and global imperialism is never-ending and today, America is the very epitome of arrogance,” he said in comments posted on an official website.
“Fighting against arrogance is one of the principles of the Revolution. It is a fundamental task,” the 75 year-old ayatollah told the young people. “Therefore, you should prepare yourselves for continuing the battle against arrogance.”