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Hossein Salami, the vice commander of Iran's Revolutionary Guards, recently gave a speech full of threats aimed directly at Israel, referring to the Palestinians as Iran's main tool against their true enemy: the United States.
"Seventy years have passed since the policy of England and America planted in the Islamic world an accursed and criminal tree [i.e. Israel]," Salami began, in the speech on Quds (Jerusalem) Day last month that was just translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).
"For 70 years, this poisoned dagger has been embedded in the body of the Islamic ummah, and all the problems of the Islamic world stem from the existence of the false, counterfeit, historically rootless, and identity-less regime named Israel."
Salami gave the speech in the city of Mashhad to commemorate Quds Day, officially called International Quds Day, an annual event held on the last Friday of Ramadan that was initiated by Iran in 1979 to express support for the Palestinians and oppose Zionism and Israel. In his speech, he describes Israel as a tool, bringing the threat of the US into the heart of the Islamic world.
"[Israel] brings the range of America's missiles against the Islamic world 12,000 kilometers closer, and becomes a tool for imposing America's policy against the Islamic world," Salami said. "[Ayatollah Khomeini] transformed the heart of Iran with the great [Islamic] Revolution, [and set] a new power against the evil of the arrogance [i.e. the U.S.], against the supporters of the Zionist regime, and against this regime itself."
He emphasized that due to its size, Israel has no defense against the Iranian threat.
"The Islamic Revolution created a mighty power called Hizbullah, that today, as the Zionist regime itself acknowledges, has over 100,000 missiles ready for launch," Salami said. "The Zionist regime has no strategic-defensive depth, and in some places, the breadth of this regime is barely 34 km, and in order to destroy it, it will take only one 'Jerusalem operation' to destroy it."
During the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war, Iran referred to its operations against Iraq as "Jerusalem operations." Another such operation against Israel is imminent, Salami warned.
"Today an international Islamic army has been formed in Syria, and the voices of the Muslims are heard near the Golan," Salami said. "Orders are awaited, so that the custom of God vis-à-vis the eradication of the evil regime [Israel] will land and the life of this regime will be ended for good. The life of the Zionist regime was never in danger as it is now."
In his speech, Salami identified the Palestinians as Iran's primary weapon against its enemies.
"Once, the Palestinians fought with stones and slingshots, but today they are armed with missiles," Salami said. "Every regime site is today under fire from the missile launchers. The farther and more deeply [we look], the more we see that there is a politically and militarily powerful regime in the world that raises the flag of fighting evil. This regime is Iran."
Iran is considered the head of Shiite Islam. As such, Salami called on young Muslims around the world to join in fighting against Israel and the US.
"Iran invites the Muslims to jihad, and the spirit of jihad today breathes in the body of the Muslim nations. The young Muslims who care are proud of fighting the Zionists, the Americans, and their allies, and becoming a martyr is an honor for them. This is our main might."