The “cancerous tumour” of Israel is the biggest problem confronting Muslim countries today, Iran’s Supreme Leader said yesterday, repeating a description condemned just days earlier by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon as well as by US and EU officials.
In a speech marking Eid al-Fitr, the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said “the big powers have dominated the destiny of the Islamic countries for years and … installed the Zionist cancerous tumour in the heart of the Islamic world,” according to the official IRNA news agency.
“Many of the Islamic world’s problems come from the existence of the sham Zionist regime,” he was widely quoted as saying.
The “tumor” slander by Khamenei and Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has long been used to portray Israel as an illegitimate state in the Middle East that will inevitably disappear.
Last Wednesday Khamenei called Israel a “bogus and fake Zionist outgrowth” and Ahmadinejad on Friday said: “The Zionist regime and the Zionists are a cancerous tumour.”
Those expressions were met with condemnation on Friday by the UN’s Secretary General and the EU’s foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton. Ban was “dismayed” by the ”offensive and inflammatory statements,” according to his spokesman. Ashton’s office slammed the remarks as “hateful”.
In his speech yesterday to Iran’s top officials and Muslim ambassadors in Tehran, Khamenei said the issue of Israel and its control over the Palestinian people was the main problem for Islamic countries.
“All Islamic governments and people have to pay attention to the very dangerous plot (by the West) that seeks to obscure this issue by creating divisions within the Islamic nation,” he was quoted as saying.
He accused the world’s “big powers” of using ”the old method of ‘divide and conquer’” on Islamic states, but said the popular revolts shaking the Arab world were now changing the situation.