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Iran’s Khamenei says Israel ‘doomed to collapse’

Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei escalated a war of words between the Islamic republic and Israel

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Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Wednesday that arch-foe Israel is a regime “doomed to collapse,” escalating a war of words between the Islamic republic and the Jewish state.

“The [Israeli] Zionist regime is a regime whose pillars are extremely shaky and is doomed to collapse,” Khamenei told commanders of the hardline Basij militia force in Tehran.

“Any phenomenon that is created by force cannot endure,” he said in comments broadcast live on state television.

The remarks come at a time of strong criticism in Israel of efforts to strike a long-elusive deal between world powers and Iran on its controversial nuclear program.

Israel, the sole if undeclared nuclear armed state in the region, opposes a mooted deal.

The so-called P5+1 group of world powers and Iran are to resume talks in Geneva on Wednesday to seek an agreement that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has called “dangerous.”

Khamenei rejected claims that Iran and its nuclear work posed a threat.

“The enemies of Iran sometimes and particularly the rabid dog of the region -- the Zionist regime -- malevolently claim that Iran is a threat to the entire world,” Khamenei said.

“No! The threat ... is the Zionist regime and some of its supporters,” he added angrily, as the Basij crowd burst into cries of “Death to Israel” and “Death to America.”

He also launched a verbal attack on Israeli leaders. “The title of human is not worthy of the leaders of the Zionist regime,” Khamenei added.

Khamenei warned against Israeli threats of possible military action against Iranian nuclear installations. “Our reaction to any aggressor is ... a slap in the face they will never forget,” he said.