Iranian Vice President Mohammad Reza Rahimi blames Jews, Zionists, and Jewish holy books for the world's international drug problem, according to the Iranian Fars News Agency and the New York Times.
Rahimi attacked the ancient Jewish legal code found in the Talmud, which he referred to as a "Zionist religious book," for Iran's profound drug problem. "The book teaches them how to destroy non-Jews so as to protect an embryo in the womb of a Jewish mother," Rahimi said. He also challenged the audience to find a "single addict among the Zionists," saying that the Talmud taught the Zionists to "destroy everyone who opposes the Jews."
The comments came Tuesday during Iran's International Day of Drug Abuse, and ignore the country's role as one of the leading drug trafficking routes for opium and hashish coming out of Afghanistan.
Rahimi's rant also hit anti-Semitic themes outside of the drug trade.
The Talmud taught Jews that they were a superior race that all other nations must serve, he said, also telling stories of gynecologists' killing black babies at the behest of Zionists, and claimed no Jews were killed in the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution, which they started.
Press TV, Iran's other official English-language outlet, altered and omitted many of the quotes to make them appear only anti-Zionist.
Iran has long claimed that its virulent attacks are directed at the state of Israel and its supporters. But its leaders have sponsored conferences denying the Holocaust and been implicated in a 1994 bombing attack against an Argentinean Jewish center.
Israel and Jewish organizations immediately condemned the hate. "The international community has not yet realized the great danger the [Iranian] regime poses to world peace. Hitler also said crazy things and succeeded in carrying out his plan," responded Israeli foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman.
Although Rahimi focused his bigoted and false accusations of Jewish involvement in the global drug trade, media reports highlight the Iranian government's own drug profiteering.
"There are several commanders involved in smuggling narcotics. Raw opium or morphine is smuggled in from Afghanistan and developed in labs inside Iran," Sajjad Haghpanah, a former investigator with the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corp's (IRGC) domestic intelligence division, told the London Times. "They work with criminal gangs to move it overseas. They have their own ships, aircraft and haulage companies, everything needed for import and export. Their power is limitless."
Former Iranian diplomat Abolfasi Eslami to the Times that following a drug destruction operation in front of U.N. inspectors, he asked IRGC leaders if they had really destroyed all of the illicit substances. The IRGC leaders laughed, saying the "drugs would f*** up the sons and daughters of the West. We should kill them. Their lives are worth less because they are not Muslims."