Iran to Assist Any Nation, Group Opposing Zionist Regime: Leader

Clay Curtis
May 22, 2020

Khamenei spoke to the nation in a 30-minute speech aired on state television, a rare address by the supreme leader as other officials in the past gave the keynote speech.

"Eliminating the Zionist regime doesn't mean eliminating Jews", he tweeted after Netanyahu's warning.

Opposition to Israel is a touchstone of belief for Shi'ite-led Iran, which backs Palestinian and Lebanese Islamic militant groups opposed to peace with the Jewish state, which Tehran refuses to recognise.

Russia's deputy foreign minister for the Middle East, Mikhail Bogdanov, spoke on Tuesday with White House special envoy Avi Berkowitz and officials from the U.S. National Security Council.

On Wednesday, Vasily Nebenzya, Russia's permanent representative to the United Nations, indicated that Moscow was ready to hold a teleconference of the Middle East Quartet on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict (consisting of Russia, the United States, the European Union and the United Nations) to help mediate the recent escalating tensions between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

Khamenei was accused Wednesday by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo of backing the Nazi's final solution.

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The poster shows a conquered Jerusalem with photos of Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps Quds Force leader Qasem Soleimani, killed in a targeted US drone strike in Baghdad in January. The final solution: "Resistance until Freedom", the text on the poster says.

Khamenei has called for Israel's destruction on numerous occasions and frequently refers to Israel as a "cancerous tumor".

Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces, Major General Mohammad Hossein Baqeri, says the Palestinian intifada has entered a new critical phase and the end of the Israeli occupation is very close.

Also Thursday, Iran's Revolutionary Guards released a message ahead of Quds Day on Friday expressing hope Israel's destruction is near and Khamenei will soon pray at the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

"Quds (Jerusalem) Day" was launched as an annual event in 1979 by Iran's Islamist leader, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, on the last Friday of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan - which falls this year on May 22.

Over the weekend, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Iranians living in areas considered to be at low risk of a further coronavirus outbreak will be allowed to attend Friday prayers including Quds Day commemorations. Iran is one of the most-affected countries in the region with 7,249 deaths and a total of 129,341 infections.

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