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(JTA) — Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said that he does not have a problem with Jews, just with the Jewish state.

“The disappearance of Israel does not mean the disappearance of the Jewish people, because we have nothing against them,” Khamenei said, in Tehran at the 33rd International Islamic Unity Conference, the AFP reported citing Khamenei’s official website.

Iran generally refers to Israel as the “Zionist regime” and does not officially recognize the county.

Khamenei said that all “Palestinian people,” including Muslims, Christians and Jews, should decide the future of the land. He added that they should be able to “choose their own government and oust thugs like (Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin) Netanyahu.”

“We are not anti-Semitic. Jews are living in utmost safety in our country. We only support the people of Palestine and their independence,” he also said.

About 20,000 Jews live in Iran today.

The post Iran’s Khamenei says he does not have a problem with Jews, just with the Jewish state appeared first on Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

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