Iran’s diplomatic charm offensive, which began in the summer of 2013 with the election of Hassan Rouhani as Iranian president, and the nuclear agreement signed with the Western powers in the summer of 2015, raised the question of whether Iran’s foreign policy towards Israel had become more moderate. Generally speaking, Iranian policy is predicated on a revolutionary ideological vision, but in the past the Iranian regime has been pragmatic concerning its national and political interests.
However, its foreign policy towards Israel remains unchanged.
President Rouhani’s rhetoric towards Israel is more moderate than that of his predecessors and the issue of Israel does not seem to be one of his administration’s high priorities. However, he is not the Iranian political system’s final authority, and Iran’s policies towards Israel, dictated by the supreme leader and the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), have clearly not changed. Senior Iranian officials have reacted harshly to hints of a change towards Israel, indicating that Iran’s basic, uncompromising hostility to Israel remains a consistent element of the Islamic Republic’s official foreign policy. During the past year, the Iranian leadership, led by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, continually voiced strong antiIsrael statements, openly advocating the destruction of the State of Israel.
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