November 11, 2005 | Memo

Iranian Threats

Jonathan L. Snow                                                                                                                                                                             November 10, 2005

Fast Facts

  • On October 26, 2005, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad spoke at the “World Without Zionism” conference in Tehran.  In widely reported remarks, Ahmadinejad called for Israel to be “wiped off the map” and expressed the goal of witnessing a “world without America.”  His statements were universally condemned by world leaders.
  • Ahmadinejad’s statements are not new.  Since the founding of the regime in 1979, Iranian leaders have repeatedly made clear that their official policy calls for the destruction of Israel, the United States and the Western World.
  • While Iran’s ruling mullahs long have had the will – they did not have a way. Now, however, it is believed they are close to producing nuclear weapons.  And they have for decades been sponsors of terrorist groups such as Hezbollah.
  • While some suggested Ahmadinejad’s remarks were meant for a domestic audience, the fact that the “World Without Zionism” banners were in English suggests his audience was the outside world.

Threats Against the United States

  • “We have a strategy drawn up for the destruction of Anglo-Saxon civilization…. we must make use of everything we have at hand to strike at this front by means of our suicide operations or by means of our missiles. There are 29 sensitive sites in the U.S. and in the West. We have already spied on these sites, and we know how we are going to attack them.” – Hassan Abbassi, Revolutionary Guards intelligence advisor to the President, May 28, 2004
  • “The world of Islam has been mobilized against America for the past 25 years.  The peoples call, “death to America.” Who used to say “death to America?” Who, besides the Islamic Republic and the Iranian people, used to say this? Today, everyone says this.” – Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, June 24, 2004
  • “The Americans are convinced that they will easily win the war in Iraq. But they will not see that day. As the Imam [Khomeini] said, ‘One day the U.S. too will be history.” – Iranian Leader Ali Khamenei  May 20, 2004
  • “Such people are using words like ‘it’s not possible’. They say how could we have a world without America and Zionism? But you know well that this slogan and goal can be achieved and can definitely be realized.” – Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, October 26, 2005

Threats Against Israel

  • “Iran’s stance has always been clear on this ugly phenomenon [i.e., Israel]. We have repeatedly said that this cancerous tumor of a state should be removed from the region.” – Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, December 15, 2000
  • “Our dear Imam ordered that the occupying regime in Al-Qods [Jerusalem] be wiped off the face of the earth. This was a very wise statement. The issue of Palestine is not one on which we could make a piecemeal compromise. … This would mean our defeat. Anyone who would recognize this state [Israel] has put his signature under the defeat of the Islamic world.” – Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, October 26, 2005
  • “If one day, the world of Islam comes to possess the weapons currently in Israel’s possession — on that day this method of global arrogance would come to an end. This is because the use of a nuclear bomb in Israel will leave nothing on the ground, whereas it will only damage the world of Islam.” – Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, Former Iranian President, December 14, 2001

Threats Against the Western World

  • “[Iran’s] missiles are now ready to strike at their civilization, and as soon as the instructions arrive from Leader [Ali Khamenei], we will launch our missiles at their cities and installations.” – Hassan Abbassi, Revolutionary Guards intelligence advisor to the President, May 28, 2004
  • “Every Muslim and every honorable man who is not a Muslim must stand against the Americans, English, and Israelis, and endanger their interests wherever they may be….They must not have security.” – Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati, Secretary General, Guardian Council, June 6, 2004
  • “Some 10,000 people have registered their names to carry out martyrdom operations on our defined targets… Our targets are mainly the occupying American and British forces in the holy Iraqi cities, all the Zionists in Palestine, and Salman Rushdie.” – Mohammad Ali Samadi, Spokesperson, Committee for the Commemoration of Martyrs of the Global Islamic Campaign, June 5, 2004
  • “The torment of the Iraqis, of the Palestinians, and even of the Americans are the direct outcome of liberal Western democracy, and this must serve as an important lesson to the rest of the world, [which must] open its eyes and understand that those who call themselves advocates of human rights and democracy are in fact the main supporters of crimes against humanity.” – Iran‘s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, May 20, 2004
  • “Islam makes it incumbent on all adult males, provided they are not disabled or incapacitated, to prepare themselves for the conquest of countries so that the writ of Islam is obeyed in every country in the world… those who study Islamic Holy War will understand why Islam wants to conquer the whole world.” – Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini
  • “We are in the process of an historical war between the World of Arrogance [i.e. the West] and the Islamic world, and this war has been going on for hundreds of years.”   Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, October 26, 2005
  •  “The message of the (Islamic) Revolution is global, and is not restricted to a specific place or time. It is a human message, and it will move forward.  Have no doubt … Allah willing, Islam will conquer what? It will conquer all the mountain tops of the world.” – Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, July 25, 2005.