Iranian News Agency: “Israeli People Must be Annihilated”

Jerusalem Feb. 6 – An Iranian news agency associated with a respected conservative member of Iran’s parliament is calling for an Iranian attack on Israel in order to destroy the Jewish state.

The article on the Alef News Agency website includes detailed maps of military and civilian targets and includes the chilling headline: “Israeli People Must be Annihilated.”

Alef is owned by Iranian parliamentarian Ahmad Tavakkoli, a former labor minister and presidential candidate known for his hard line pro-Islamic stance. The article has been reposted on numerous news websites in Iran and other countries. In 2008 the Alef News Agency gained much respect inside Iran when it exposed the fake Oxford University doctorate of one of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's cabinet ministers, who was subsequently impeached.

Alef is not an official government news agency, but all news outlets in the Islamic Republic are tightly controlled by Tehran. The article repeats calls by Iran’s leaders for Israel’s destruction; however, it differs with its demand for a first-strike against Israel “based on preemptive defense doctrine.”

Iran is under heavy United Nations and international sanctions aimed at forcing it to halt its nuclear-development program. The International Atomic Energy Agency concluded last year that several elements of the program could only be used for military purposes.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said his country was only too well aware of the Iranian threats.

"We have received a reminder about what kind of a neighborhood we live in. We heard the Iranian ruler's remarks about the elimination of Israel,” Netanyahu said at the weekly cabinet meeting. “We have seen bloody events in our region. Various leaders have no moral compunctions about killing their neighbors and their own people alike,” said Netanyahu.

“In such a region, the only thing that ensures our existence, security and prosperity is our strength. We are obligated to continue to develop the military, economic and social strength of the State of Israel,” Netanyahu said. “This is also the only guarantee for the existence of peace and the only defense for Israel should the peace unravel.”

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