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Khamenei: Iran not calling for elimination of Jews, wants non-sectarian Israel

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By Reuters
Khamenei: Iran not calling for elimination of Jews, wants non-sectarian Israel
FILE PHOTO: Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei speaks live on television after casting his ballot in the Iranian presidential election in Tehran June 12, 2009. REUTERS/Caren Firouz   -   Copyright  Caren Firouz(Reuters)

DUBAI (Reuters) – Iran is not calling for the elimination of Jewish people, but it thinks people of all religions should decide Israel’s future, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Friday in a speech posted on his official website.

“Calling for the elimination of the state of Israel does not mean the elimination of the Jewish people … it means that the people of Palestine – be they Muslim, Christian or Jewish – should choose their own government,” Khamenei told an Islamic conference in Tehran.

Since its Islamic Revolution in 1979 Iran has refused to recognise Israel and has backed militant Palestinian groups.

(Reporting by Dubai newsroom; Editing by Andrew Heavens)