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Iranian president-elect reiterates commitment to destroying Israel

Iran "has always supported the resistance of the people of the region against the illegitimate Zionist regime," wrote Masoud Pezeshkian.

Iranian President-elect Masoud Pezeshkian speaks during a visit to the shrine of the Islamic Republic's founder, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, July 6, 2024. Photo by Majid Saeedi/Getty Images.
Iranian President-elect Masoud Pezeshkian speaks during a visit to the shrine of the Islamic Republic's founder, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, July 6, 2024. Photo by Majid Saeedi/Getty Images.

Iran’s President-elect Masoud Pezeshkian on Monday reaffirmed Tehran’s dedication to destroying Israel, saying its proxies across the region will not allow the Jewish state’s “criminal policies” to continue.

“The Islamic Republic has always supported the resistance of the people of the region against the illegitimate Zionist regime. The support of the resistance is rooted in the fundamental policies of the Islamic Republic,” Pezeshkian wrote in a missive to Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah.

“I am certain that the resistance movements in the region will not allow this regime to continue its warmongering and criminal policies against the oppressed people of Palestine and other nations of the region,” Iranian media quoted the supposed reformer president as saying.

Pezeshkian, a former heart surgeon and longtime lawmaker born in 1954 to an Iranian Azerbaijani father and Iranian Kurdish mother, told local media ahead of his election win that if he were elected, he would “try to have friendly relations with all countries except Israel.”

Pezeshkian stressed during the campaign that he fully adheres to the Islamic regime’s policies and has “melted into Khamenei’s leadership.”

Pezeshkian’s win is not expected to produce any major policy shift in Tehran’s nuclear program or support for Hamas in Gaza, Hezbollah in Lebanon, the Houthis in Yemen, or the various militias in Iraq and Syria.

A spokeswoman for the U.S. State Department told Iran International over the weekend that the elections will not significantly impact the Biden administration’s approach to Iran, citing unchanged concerns about the country’s nuclear advancement and ongoing proxy wars.

The spokeswoman also said that the vote was “not free or fair.” The statement drew ire from Iran’s Foreign Ministry, which accused Washington of “non-constructive and hostile policies” on Monday.

Following the election, Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz urged the international community to increase the pressure on the mullah regime.

Iranians “sent a clear message of demand for change and opposition to the Ayatollah regime through the elections,” said Katz on Saturday.

“Now the world must designate the [Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps] as a terrorist organization and demand the cancellation of the nuclear program and the cessation of support for terrorist organizations,” Jerusalem’s top diplomat added.

Katz departed for Washington on Sunday night to represent Israel at a NATO summit marking the 75th anniversary of the alliance, where he said he would bring world leaders’ attention to the Iranian threat.

“I am going to Washington tonight to represent the State of Israel with one clear goal: To warn dozens of leaders and foreign ministers that they must stand up now with full force and determination against Iran,” he said.

A senior Iranian general told relatives of Hamas terrorists killed in Gaza last week that the Islamic Republic was prepared to launch another attack on Israel, similar to its massive missile and drone strike in April.

Hajizadeh’s statement came a few days after the Islamic Republic threatened to destroy the Jewish state if the Israel Defense Forces embarks on a full-scale war against Hezbollah in Lebanon.

Last month, The Washington Post reported that Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization has informed the U.N. nuclear watchdog of plans to install 1,400 new uranium enrichment centrifuges at a heavily guarded facility.

The expansion at the Fordow enrichment plant could allow the mullah regime to accumulate several bombs’ worth of nuclear fuel every month, according to confidential documents seen by the U.S. daily.

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