|"Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has labelled Israel a 'cancer'." (AP)|
The Telegraph, February 3, 2012
"Iran will help anyone willing to 'cut out the cancer' of Israel, its Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said today. The religious leader also told worshippers at Friday prayers that the country will continue its controversial nuclear programme. He warned that any military strike by the West would only make Iran stronger. 'From now on, in any place, if any nation or any group confronts the Zionist regime, we will endorse and we will help. We have no fear expressing this,' said Khamenei. He said Israel is a 'cancerous tumor that should be cut and will be cut'. Iran has been repeatedly defiant to hints that the US and Israel may at some point launch military strikes on Iranian nuclear facilities. But any statement by Iran's Supreme Leader, who has final say on all matters of state, makes it all the more unlikely that Tehran will switch tack. Khamenei also said that Iran had assisted militant groups like the Lebanese Hezbollah and the Palestinian Hamas -- a well-known policy, but one that Iranian leaders rarely state explicitly. 'We have intervened in anti-Israel matters, and it brought victory in the 33-day war by Hezbollah against Israel in 2006, and in the 22-day war,' between Hamas and Israel in the Gaza Strip, he said.
Israel's large-scale military incursion against Hamas in 2008-2009 in Gaza ended in a cease-fire, with Israel claiming to have inflicted heavy damage on the militant organisation. The war in Lebanon ended with a UN-brokered truce that sent thousands of Lebanese troops and international peacekeepers into southern Lebanon to prevent another outbreak. 'Iran will not withdraw (over its nuclear [program]). Then what happens?' asked Khamenei. 'In conclusion, the West's hegemony and threats will be discredited' in the Middle East. 'The hegemony of Iran will be promoted. In fact, this will be in our service.' [...]"
[n.b. Far from the first time that Khameini has used this sort of loathsome language.]