By Parisa Hafezi
DUBAI (Reuters) – Iran’s Supreme Leader on Friday denounced Israel as a “tumor” to be eliminated and hailed Tehran’s provide of arms to Palestinians, drawing swift condemnation from the United States, European Union and Israel.
Opposition to Israel is a core perception for Shi’ite Muslim-led Iran. The Islamic Republic helps Palestinian and Lebanese armed teams against peace with Israel, which Tehran refuses to acknowledge.
“The Zionist regime (Israel) is a deadly, cancerous tumor in the region. It will undoubtedly be uprooted and destroyed,” Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei stated in a web-based speech.
The United States and European Union rejected the feedback.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Twitter dismissed them as “disgusting and hateful anti-Semitic remarks” that didn’t symbolize the custom of tolerance of unusual Iranians.
EU international coverage chief Josep Borrell stated they have been “totally unacceptable and represent a deep source of concern”.
Although leaders of Palestinian militant teams in Gaza, together with Hamas and Islamic Jihad, have steadily praised Iran’s monetary and army help, Khamenei had not himself beforehand given public affirmation of Tehran’s weapons provide.
“Iran realised Palestinian fighters’ only problem was lack of access to weapons. With divine guidance and assistance, we planned, and the balance of power has been transformed in Palestine, and today the Gaza Strip can stand against the aggression of the Zionist enemy and defeat it,” he stated.
Israeli Defence Minister and Alternate Prime Minister Benny Gantz stated: “The State of Israel has great challenges in a variety of arenas. Khamenei’s statement that Israel is a ‘cancerous tumor’ illustrates this more than anything.”
He stated on Facebook: “I do not suggest anyone to test us …We will be prepared for all threats, and by any means.”
In an announcement described as a response to Khamenei, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated: “Those that invoke the threat of destruction against Israel put themselves in similar danger.”
Zeyad al-Nakhala, chief of Palestinian Islamic Jihad, which has publicly admitted getting Iranian arms and funds, praised Khamenei’s feedback. “We are ready for a long jihad and victory is granted,” he stated in remarks distributed by the group.
Iranian officers have repeatedly known as for an finish to Israel, together with by a referendum that will exclude most of its Jews whereas together with Palestinians within the area and overseas.
Khamenei recommended international consideration on the coronavirus disaster had helped obscure wrongs achieved to Palestinians. “The long-lasting virus of Zionists will be eliminated,” he added.
Khamenei was talking on Iran’s annual Quds Day, which makes use of the Arabic title for Jerusalem, held on the final Friday of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.
Iran cancelled nationwide Quds Day rallies as a consequence of coronavirus. Iran is among the most affected international locations within the area with 7,300 deaths and a complete of 131,652 infections.
Khamenei additionally denounced what he known as treason by “political and cultural mercenaries in Muslim countries” serving to Zionists to downplay the Palestine situation, an obvious reference to some Arab states together with Iran’s regional rival Saudi Arabia.
(Additional reporting by Rami Ayyub in Tel Aviv, Nidal al-Mughrabi in Gaza and Dan Williams in Jerusalem; Writing by Parisa Hafezi; Editing by William Maclean/Mark Heinrich)