Ayatollah Khamenei: Israel ‘Not a Country, But a Terrorist Base’

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei addresses the nation during a live TV speech on the occasion of al-Quds Day (Jerusalem Day), in Tehran

Tehran- Israel is “not a country, but a terrorist base”, Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Friday and urged Muslim nations to fight it, as they marked an annual day of pro-Palestinian rallies.

“Israel is not a country, but a terrorist base against the nation of Palestine and other Muslim nations,” Khamenei said in live televised remarks marking Al-Quds (Jerusalem) Day.

He said the policies of the oppressive and cruel capitalism “have driven a people out of their homes, their homeland and their ancestral roots and instead, it has installed a terrorist regime and has housed a foreign people therein.”

“Fighting this despotic regime is fighting oppression and terrorism, and (doing so) is everyone’s duty,” he added. The televised speech was also transcribed on his Twitter feed.

His remarks came amid high tensions between the regional arch-foes, following a series of maritime attacks, an explosion at an Iranian nuclear facility and the assassination of a top nuclear scientist, which Tehran blamed on Israel.

Quds Day has been held annually since the early days of Iran’s Islamic revolution in support of Palestinians, but this year did not feature the usual nationwide rallies due to COVID-19 limitations.

But despite the restrictions a number of people came out “spontaneously” in the capital Tehran, state TV said, showing the usual burning of flags and chants of “Death to America” and “Death to Israel”.

Rallies were also held in many capitals across the region notably Sanaa, Damascuss, Baghdad and Beirut, all of them under rising Iranian influence.

Sayed Khamenei stressed that “the decline of the enemy Zionist regime has begun and will not stop”.

“Palestine and Quds has been described in the Holy Quran as the ‘Holy Land,’” he asserted. “It has been tens of years now that the most impure and malicious human beings have been occupying this pure land … They are racists who have been harassing, for more than 70 years, the main owners of the land by murdering, looting, imprisoning and torturing them, but, thank God, they have not been able to break their willpower.

He then declared: “All Palestinians – including the Palestinians in Gaza, in Quds, in the West Bank, in 1948 lands and even the ones living in refugee camps – form a single unit and they should adopt the strategy of coalescence.”

He blasted Israel’s normalisation of ties with “some weak Arab governments” as attempts to undermine “the nightmare of Muslim unity,” calling on Palestinians to continue their resistance and for Muslim governments to support them.

The Islamic republic does not recognise the State of Israel, and supporting the Palestinian cause has been a pillar of Iran’s foreign policy since the 1979 revolution.

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