Roundup: Iran strongly condemns U.S. decision on Jerusalem

TEHRAN, Dec. 7 (Xinhua) — Iran’s Foreign Ministry strongly condemned the U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, state TV reported Thursday.

Washington’s recognition is a “blatant violation of international resolutions,” the foreign ministry said in a statement.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran has always stressed that the most important reason behind instability and insecurity in the Middle East is (Israel’s) continued occupation,” the statement added.

“The U.S. relentless support for the Zionist regime (of Israel) and denying the oppressed Palestinian nation the right to establish an independent state with al-Quds (Jerusalem) as it capital would destabilize the region,” it noted.

Describing the U.S. move as “provocative and unwise,” the Iranian Foreign Ministry warned that “recognizing al-Quds as the Israeli regime’s capital” will “provoke Muslims and inflame a new Intifada and intensify extremism and violent behavior for which the United States and the Israeli regime will be responsible.”

U.S. President Donald Trump announced Wednesday his recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, and instructed the State Department to begin the process of moving the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

“I am determined that it is time to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel,” said Trump, adding he has judged that “this cause of action to be in the best interests of the United States of America and the pursuit of peace between Israel and Palestinians.”

“This is a long overdue step to advance the peace process and to work towards a lasting agreement,” Trump argued, saying his announcement is just a “recognition of reality.”

On Wednesday, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei urged the Muslim world to stand against the U.S. “plot” to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

“Palestine today tops the political issues facing the Islamic Ummah (people) and everyone is duty-bound to make endeavors toward its freedom and salvage,” Khamenei was quoted by Press TV as saying.

Khamenei made the remarks in an address to state officials, ambassadors of Muslim countries and participants of the 31st International Islamic Unity Conference held in Tehran.

The enemies’ plan to recognize Jerusalem as the “capital” of Israel stems from their “incompetence and despair,” the top Iranian leader said.

“The Muslim world would undoubtedly stand against this conspiracy, and the Zionists (Israelis) will be dealt a heavy blow with this move. Dear Palestine will at last be liberated without doubt,” he added.

Also on Wednesday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said the relocation of the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem is illegal and would further destabilize Palestine and the Middle East.

During a phone conversation with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Rouhani called on Islamic states to join hands in opposing the “dangerous” move by the Trump Administration.

“We believe, given the current conditions, all Islamic nations must become united and take a serious step in countering this wrong, illegal, provocative and gravely dangerous move by the U.S.,” Rouhani said.

He added that Israel is “responsible for all the insecurity and instability” in the region.

On Thursday, Chief of Staff of Iran’s Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Baqeri condemned in a statement Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

“Holy Quds (Jerusalem) belongs to the Palestine and the Islamic world,” Baqeri said. “Muslims will never allow part of Islamic world to be separated from its body.”

Baqeri stressed that Arab and Islamic states are facing “a historical test.”

“The unwise decision of Trump is a clear violation of Palestinian rights and contrary to international laws,” he added.

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