At last a relatively moderate voice from Iran! Not that this individual is exactly Israel’s friend, judging from how he speaks of the “Zionist regime.” This is part of a news item from Haaretz, Aug. 21, “Leading Iranian cleric calls on regime to avoid war with Israel“:
|AP photo of Iranian military parade.|
Ayatollah Yousef Sanei, a vocal opponent of Ahmadinejad, warns regime not to provoke Israel by ‘acting as warmongers;’ two former ministers call on supreme leader to set up new ruling council.
A prominent Iranian cleric has called on the Islamic Republic’s leadership to avoid war with Israel. In a sermon marking the end of Ramadan, Ayatollah Yousef Sanei, a vocal opponent of the Ahmadinejad regime, urged the leadership to avoid provoking Israel and “acting as warmongers.” “We must do everything to prevent a Zionist attack on Iran, because if that happens, Iran will be severely damaged, even if the Zionist regime is damaged even more….
…. “We must not act as warmongers in our country and encourage war. The country is currently facing a unique situation, and the most important thing to do is to shut the mouth of the Zionist regime with our thoughts, our pens and an effort to take the right actions.”Sanei, 75, is considered a role model to millions of Shi’ites, and a pillar of the pro-reform Green Revolution. From time to time, he uses his public status as a platform to preach in favor of civil rights and gender equality, and against suicide attacks. …
On the same day, it’s Israel that is reportedly being warned by another leading Iranian figure, “Top Iran official: If Israel attacks, it will bring about its own ‘annihilation’“:
An Israeli attack on Iran will lead to Israel’s “annihilation,” a senior Iranian official told the country’s state-run TV station Press TV on Monday, ahead of the Non-Aligned Movement summit due to take place in Tehran later this month.
The comment, by former head of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Mohsen Rezaei, came after, last week, the head of the Revolutionary Guard’s air force said that a possible Israeli airstrike against his country’s nuclear facilities is “welcome” because it would give Iran a reason to retaliate and “get rid of” the Jewish state “forever.”
Hajizadeh said in the event of an Israeli strike, Iran’s response would be “swift, decisive and destructive.” But he also claims Israeli threats of a strike are just part of a psychological war against Iran.
Speaking to Press TV on Monday, Rezaei, who currently heads Iran’s Expediency Council, an advisory panel to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, warned Israel of going forward with its reported plan to attack.
“If the Zionists commit the folly and attack Iran, they will receive a crushing response from Islamic Republic’s armed forces which will lead to their annihilation,” Rezaei told Press TV. …