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|Rouhani: ‘This Festering Zionist Tumor Has Opened Once Again’
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani lashed out at Israel in vitriolic terms on Wednesday, referring to Israel as a “festering Zionist tumor.”
Rouhani, who has been championed by Western media as a moderate reformer who could change Iran’s extremist ways, appears to be adopting a violent tone similar to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, who has advocated for the complete destruction of Israel in recent days.
“Today, this festering Zionist tumor has opened once again and has turned the land of olives into destruction and blood and littered the land with the body parts of Palestinian children,” Rouhani was quoted as saying in a statement that was translated by the Brookings Institution.
Rouhani’s comments have received little attention in the Western media, which rushed to congratulate the Iranian leader last year for sending a greeting to Jews during the Rosh Hashanah holiday.
Rouhani went on to compare Israel to the jihadists affiliated with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS), which Iran is fighting against in Iraq.
ISIL is “a second festering tumor that murders people in the name of Islam,” Rouhani said, adding that, “analysts say that both of these tumors derived from the same origin.”
Khamenei himself has called for the arming of all Palestinians so that they can combat Israel.
Saeed Ghasseminejad, an Iranian dissident and cofounder of Iranian Liberal Students and Graduates, warned that Rouhani and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, the lead negotiator in talks with the West, are fooling the world by posing as moderates.
“Rouhani and Zarif to Khamenei are the same as Joachim von Ribbentrop was to Adolf Hitler,” Ghasseminejad said. “Both are loyal servants to a dangerous apartheid regime that wants to change the world order dramatically and is ready to use any means available to reach its deal. Like Ribbentrop, it is their job to fool the world, buy time for the regime, and sell a fake image to the world.”
Michael Rubin, a former Pentagon adviser on Iran and Iraq, slammed U.S. media for perpetuating the myth that Rouhani is a Western-style moderate.
“The Iranian government counts on the fact that the American media will act as useful idiots,” Rubin said. “Some self-censor for access, others simply believe what they read in English—for example Rouhani’s Rosh Hashanah tweet—and ignore completely what the Iranian leadership says in Persian.”
“The fact of the matter is that Rouahni is part and parcel of the system, and embraces Khamenei’s ideology hook, line, and sinker,” Rubin added
Rubin noted that several years ago Rouhani boasted about his ability to appease the United States with promises of diplomacy.
“There should be some serious introspection about the cherry picking in which the media has engaged to promote a false narrative,” Rubin said. “Putting lipstick on Rouhani doesn’t make him Western; he remains just as much a devotee of an ideology seeking to defeat both Israel and the West.”
As Western leaders such as President Barack Obama seek to get closer to Rouhani, his regime has armed terror groups such as Hamas and sought to spread regional chaos.
“The reality is that under Rouhani, Iran has increased its support for terrorist groups like Hamas and Hezbollah thanks to the sanctions relief” provided to Iran under the terms of the interim nuclear agreement, Ghasseminejad said.
“The mullahs in Tehran have significantly increased their influence as the United States wants to please Iran by recognizing what is being called Iran’s legitimate interests as a major power in the Middle East,” he said.
ISIL Targets Saudi Intelligence
Officials: ‘Crowd-sourced’ assassination campaign aimed at destabilizing Saudi Arabia.
The ultra-violent al Qaeda offshoot group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS) has targeted Saudi Arabian intelligence officers for a campaign of assassination as part of plans by the group to expand activities inside the oil-rich kingdom.
A Twitter campaign by ISIL terrorists was launched Friday that sought information on Saudi intelligence officers. It followed a fatal knife attack against a Saudi police officer last week.
U.S. intelligence agencies monitoring ISIL’s social media communications identified the campaign as a crowd-sourced effort to gather names and other personal information about Saudi intelligence officials for the assassination campaign.
The campaign, according to U.S. officials, appears aimed at destabilizing Saudi Arabia, the location of two of Islam’s holiest cities.
U.S. officials said social media monitoring indicated that thousands of Saudis are supporting ISIL, as indicated by social media use. Twitter users in the kingdom account for 40 percent of all Twitter users in the Arab world.
The assassination campaign is also part of a larger effort by ISIL to recruit jihadists in the kingdom and, as it did in other locations in the Middle East, to gain the release of Muslim terrorists held in prison.
In the case of Saudi Arabia, ISIL wants to increase its ranks by winning the release of imprisoned jihadists, including women terrorists.
Evidence of the ISIL recruiting drive in Saudi Arabia first appeared in June when leaflets were distributed in the capital, Riyadh.
The campaign is being carried out under a hashtag in Arabic that translates to “Revealing the identities of the dogs of the Saudi intelligence agencies.”
A pro-ISIL propagandist who is known to U.S. intelligence is said to be leading the campaign.
Saudi National Guard police detective Turki al-Maliki was killed in Riyadh on July 28 and online supporters of ISIL said the murder was part of the new assassination campaign.
However, a U.S. official said the campaign targeting Saudi intelligence officers did not begin until a day after the killing. Analysts believe SIL may be exploiting the murder as a way of launching the anti-intelligence campaign.
Several online jihadists said the killing was the first phase of the campaign against the Saudis.
The crowd sourcing produced nearly 30,000 postings, including data on numerous people who are supposedly linked to the Saudi intelligence, known as the General Intelligence Presidency.
The Tweets included personal information on locations, Twitter names, pictures, and telephone numbers.
ISIL terrorists urged those taking part in the campaign to first verify the information to avoid killing innocents.
The Twitter campaign also prompted a social media political battle with pro-Saudi Tweeters using the assassination hashtag to issue statements of support for Saudi armed forces and security agencies.
Saudi Arabia remains a key target for both ISIL and the mainline al Qaeda group, Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP, which has been active in seeking to destabilize and take over Yemen.
AQAP claimed credit for carrying out a bombing attack on a Saudi border post near Sharurah on the Yemen border on July 4.
Two terrorists blew themselves up at the border post, killing five Saudis. Five terrorists also were killed and a sixth was arrested.
An AQAP video of the attack released last week said the attack was linked to winning the release of Saudi jihadists.
The video concluded with a threat to conduct further attacks deep inside Saudi territory and not just on the borders.
Meanwhile, ISIL last week released the second edition of an English-language magazine in a sign the group is seeking to recruit and influence westerners who can be used to conduct attacks.
The 44-page magazine known as “Dabiq” was released Wednesday. Its release has renewed fears among U.S. and western counterterrorism officials about ISIL’s aspirations to recruit Americans and others who can be used in future attacks against the United States and Europe.
ISIL remains in competition with al Qaeda for both supporters and fighters and is attempting to gain greater support among international jihadists after its June incursion into Iraq. The group has taken over a large part of Iraq, including the second largest city Mosul.
U.S. officials said a recent statement by Mullah Omar, leader of Afghanistan’s Taliban insurgency, has given inspiration to ISIL.
In a recent religious message, Omar appears to shy away from supporting central al Qaeda in its political battle with ISIL.
Omar stated that his main focus is on Afghanistan and maintaining peaceful relations with neighboring states.
Ayman al Zawahiri, al Qaeda’s leader and successor to Osama bin Laden, has not directly addressed ISIL’s declaration of a “caliphate,” or prophetic Islamic state in charge of all Muslims.
However, al Qaeda central has launched a propaganda campaign that included renewing ties with Omar’s Taliban.
But the failure of Omar to directly address the split led ISIL backers to claim he had turned down al Qaeda’s appeal for continued allegiance.
Iran's supreme leader calls on Muslim world to arm Gaza
During his Eid al-Fitr address July 29, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei spent a considerable portion of his speech discussing the war in Gaza. He condemned Israel and called the attacks on Gaza “genocide.”
In response to calls by Western nations to disarm Hamas, Ayatollah Khamenei said, “What do you mean, disarm? They have a few missiles to briefly defend themselves against the enemy.” He said the West wants to disarm Hamas so that “Whenever the Zionists want they can attack, light any fire, and [Gazans] would not even be allowed to defend themselves.”
He continued, “The president of America issued a fatwa that the resistance must be disarmed. Yes, it’s clear, you want this [minimal] attack in response to all of these crimes not to happen. We say the opposite. All of the world, especially the Islamic world, has a responsibility: whatever it can do to equip the Palestinian people.
More than 1,000 Palestinians, mostly civilians, and more than 40 Israelis, mostly soldiers, have died since the war began July 8.
Ayatollah Khamenei delivered a speech to government officials for Eid al-Fitr in which he also spoke of Gaza's need for aid, both military and humanitarian, and the need for Islamic unity against Israel.
“Unfortunately, unlike in Islamic teaching and education, today [with all the] political motivations and authoritarianism, the Islamic nation is conflicted with division,” he told government officials, according to a Fars News transcript.
The supreme leader said, “Censorship in the West does not allow Western nations to understand the depth of the events in Gaza. But these crimes are so tragic and heartbreaking that showing even parts of them in the Western media shook non-Muslim nations and brought them out to the streets.”
He continued, “Our clear message to Islamic governments is this: Let’s help the oppressed rise and show that the Islamic world will not be calm in the face of oppression,” and added, “To realize this goal, all Islamic governments, irrespective of their political and non-political differences, [must] accelerate help to the oppressed.”
In order to help the Palestinians in Gaza, the supreme leader said that the governments must “first, provide critical facilities to the people of Gaza, and second, [form] a strong and proportionate response against the Zionist regime and its supporters.”
In addition to food, water, medicine and hospital facilities, he added, “These people also need arms to defend themselves.”
Iran has long been one of the main supporters of Hamas. Despite their differences on the Syrian civil war, in which Iran has backed the Syrian government and Hamas distanced itself from longtime ally President Bashar al-Assad, Iran has worked to maintain close ties to the group.
Ayatollah Khamenei also condemned those who support Israel in its war, saying, “Criminal Zionists and their supporters, for their astonishing killing of people and detestable killing of children in Gaza, without shame, create justifications and reasons. This shows their peak of malice and brazenness.”
He added, “Islamic people and governments have a responsibility to … express their dislike of the criminal Zionists ruling in Tel Aviv and their supporters and when possible, confront them economically and politically.”
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