A video surfaced today of an Iranian diplomat and imam calling for the destruction of Israel at an Auckland, New Zealand mosque, Jerusalem Post reports.
The video, translated by MEMRI, is from a June “Al-Quds Day” event hosted by the Islamic Ahlulbayt Foundation of New Zealand but has only recently come under public scrutiny.
The prime ministers of Australia and New Zealand are expected to lead the commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Beersheba tomorrow, and delegations from down under are touring Israel before the event.
“The Zionists make divisions in the Muslim world to achieve their goals,” Iranian diplomat Hormoz Ghahremani said, speaking to an audience in the mosque.
He described a Zionist conspiracy to “infiltrate Muslim countries,” and attributed “terrorism and extremism in the region [as] fueled and funded by the enemies of Islam and the Zionists.”
“As you all know, Israel and the Zionist regime hide behind a fake phenomenon described as the Holocaust, nd do not let anybody investigate the Holocaust.Why weren’t the Jews given a piece of Germany? Why should [did] they come to Palestine,” Imam Hojatoleslam Shafie stated, who was next to speak.
He said al-Quds day was founded by the late IraniaSuprememe Ayatollah Khomeini with the intention of “dealing a powerful punch to the mouth of the cancerous tumor known as evil Israel.”
“As Imam Khomeini once said, if every Muslim were to spit in the face of Israel, Israel would drown,” Shafie continued, over the sounds of children playing.
He returned to familiar language, describing Israel as a “cancer” which needs to be “surgically removed.”
“In my opinion, the countdown to the annihilation of the Zionist regime has begun,” Shafie said without giving an explanation.
Jewish community leaders now want Hormoz Ghahremani, first secretary of the Iranian Embassy, to be expelled after he appeared alongside speakers who denied the Holocaust and called for the “surgical removal” of Israel.
News this weekend of the aggressively-worded speeches comes after rallies against racism. New Green MP Golriz Ghahraman denounced racism at a rally in front of Parliament on Saturday.
Ghahraman, who came to NZ from Iran as a refugee as a child, said on Saturday night that she was concerned that racist rhetoric was becoming more commonplace in mainstream New Zealand politics.
“We are seeing this insidious racism creep into the mainstream. It’s important to note the Holocaust was the most harrowing of crimes against humanity,” she warned.
Members of the Jewish community say it’s outrageous that the representative of a foreign Government should make such comments. The speech was in June but has only just come to light. Juliet Moses, a spokeswoman for the Jewish Council, said the fact an Iran Government representative was making such inflammatory statements was concerning.
“It’s not a great surprise in one sense because statements like this come from Iranian leaders all the time, but when those words are being spoken in New Zealand it’s a very different matter,” she explained.
Moses said she hoped the Government would investigate and take action against Ghahremani.
“Expulsion might be an option.”