Unveiling ceremony for memorial to Iranian Jews killed in Iran-Iraq war..
(photo credit: IRANIAN MEDIA)
A Jewish lawmaker in Iran has blasted what he termed “the destruction of mosques in the Muslim world,” in a possible reference to the ongoing clashes in Jerusalem over al-Aksa Mosque.
According to Iran’s Mehr News Agency, Siamak Moreh Sedgh, a former community leader who holds a parliamentary seat reserved for a representative of the country’s Jews, stated that mosques are the “best element for unity in the Muslim world, but have fallen into the hands of terrorist groups and are being destroyed.”
“I personally respect followers of all religions and wish them success,” he continued. “Many holy places of the Muslim, Christian and Jewish people have come under attack, and this matter has provoked the anger of all believers.
Unfortunately, today we are also witnessing the destruction of mosques in the Muslim world.”
“All of us have the responsibility to protect religious holy sites,” MNA cited Sedgh as saying, adding that he had asserted that members of other faiths must respect Muslim values.
Jerusalem and the West Bank have been suffering from a spate of Arab terrorist attacks in recent days spurred by Palestinian calls to “protect” the Temple Mount’s al-Aksa Mosque from Israeli “settlers.” Israel has promised to maintain the status quo at the site, which precludes Jewish prayer, but does allow pilgrims to walk around the site.
Sedgh has shown himself to be a harsh critic of the Jewish state, telling the Fars News Agency last year that the “Zionist regime’s crimes are reminiscent of the actions taken by the German Nazis during the first and second world wars.”
Given his track record, Sedgh’s comments are “not a horrible statement, and if anything, the best way to describe this statement is purposely ambiguous,” mused Simon Wiesenthal Center’s chief Nazi hunter, Dr. Efraim Zuroff.
Given Tehran’s recent criticism of Saudi Arabia following the trampling death of more than a thousand haj pilgrims, including many Iranians, and the ambiguous language employed by Sedgh, it is also possible that he was aiming a barb at the royal family in Riyadh.
Tehran has blamed both the Saudis and Israel for the late September disaster, with a senior military official stating that “given the usurper Zionist regime’s infiltration and influence on the al-Saud, there is a growing possibility that the crane crash incident at the Grand Mosque [in Mecca] and the death of thousands of people in Mina were the result of deliberate crime.”