The firebrand Hossein Shariatmadari, the editor of the flagship Khamenei-funded hardliner newspaper Kayhan, decried talk of a two state solution in the Palestine-Israel conflict.
In a rare moment in which a regime representative speaks of Israel in its internationally accepted name, rather than 'the Zionist entity' as is standard, he said: "The only solution is to eliminate Israel from the face of the earth and from the world map."
He also said anyone supporting such a solution to the Middle East's most intangible conflict, was committing "treason and complicity in Israel's crime".
The provocative stance from Kayhan comes in the wake of Iran's recent acceptance of the two-state solution, a move that appears to have irked the ultraconservative elements in the country.
Last week, an ultraconservative lawmaker initiated impeachment proceedings against Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, accusing him of "weakness in playing a central and effective role" in addressing the Gaza conflict. The war has become the most bitter conflict between Israel and Iran-backed Hamas since the designated terror group took control of the strip in 2007 following a Hamas invasion on October 7 in which 1,200 mostly civilians were murdered and around 240 more were kidnapped to Gaza.
Mahmoud Abbaszadeh-Meshkini, a member of the Parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Committee, questioned the shift in discourse, stating, "How is it that until recently, the goal was to eliminate the Zionist regime, but now the discourse has shifted."
The two-state solution proposes an independent Palestinian state alongside Israel, aiming to address the long-standing Israeli-Palestinian conflict. However, disputes over borders persist, particularly regarding Israel's withdrawal from territories occupied in 1967, a demand rejected by Israel.
Iran has traditionally maintained a public position advocating for the annihilation of Israel as a state, rejecting any two-state agreement. Despite this, on October 27, the UN General Assembly passed a resolution calling for a "humanitarian truce" in Gaza, which Iran voted in favor of.
While hardliners within the Iranian regime continue to call for the destruction of Israel and express eagerness to engage in the Gaza conflict, the top leadership has been cautious, avoiding direct involvement in spite of its funding Hamas over $100 million a year and supporting it with military aid.