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Iran’s top leader seeks to clarify position on Israel

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TEHRAN, Iran –  Iran’s supreme leader has sought to clarify his position on Israel after being accused of threatening its destruction.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei was quoted by the official IRNA news agency late Sunday as saying the Mideast conflict should be resolved through a popular referendum among “all real Palestinians, including Muslims, Jews and Christians” who trace their roots back to before the creation of Israel.

That would seem to include all Palestinians as well as the small community of Jews who lived in the Holy Land before the creation of Israel. Khamenei did not address the fate of the vast majority of Jewish Israelis.

Khamenei has repeatedly called for Israel’s demise, while saying Iran would only attack it in self-defense.

Israel views such remarks as a genocidal threat, a charge Iran denies.

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