Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei .
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Monday that “plots” were being hatched by “hegemonic powers” to make the Palestinian issue fade from the world’s attention.
“Any historic event can be damaged by two major elements of forgetfulness and distortion. The world’s arrogant powers are bent on making world public opinion gradually forget how the Palestinians were forced to leave their cities and villages in an unprecedented plot,” he said, according to Iran’s Fars News Agency.
“Despite arrogant powers’ conspiracies in the past years, the cause of Palestine has been kept alive thanks to the Islamic Revolution and sincere support of the late Imam [Ayatollah Ruhollah] Khomeini,” he said.
Meanwhile, in a meeting with members of parliament, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani criticized Western governments for imposing sanctions on Iran over its nuclear program, according to the Islamic Republic News Agency. He said the sanctions violated international law and human rights.
In addition, he accused the government of former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of a lack of interest in solving the nuclear issue, something that opened the way for sanctions.
Rouhani also referred to corruption in the former government.
“Some individuals inside Iran made financial benefits out of the sanctions,” he said.
Ahmadinejad’s top aide has been indicted, apparently in connection with allegations of corruption in the previous administration, Iranian media reported on Monday. Former vice president Mohammad-Reza Rahimi has been the target of a lengthy judicial investigation into his possible role in several high-profile bribery and embezzlement cases that spilled into Turkey, as well as central and eastern Asia.
Rahimi has denied all the accusations. Last year, while still in office, he said he would “volunteer to have my hands severed if even one of these charges is proved against me.”
Mohsen Eftekhari, a Tehran judge, told the Shargh newspaper that Rahimi had been indicted and his case would be referred to a special court.
Rahimi reportedly has links to jailed businessman Babak Zanjani, chairman of Sorinet Group and accused of skimming up to $2.7 billion off illegal oil exports as Ahmadinejad’s government tried to bypass sanctions.
Analysts say Zanjani’s connections with senior officials in Ahmadinejad’s administration and the Revolutionary Guard Corps – a powerful branch of Iran’s military, with extensive business interests – have made him a political target, especially since Rouhani was elected in June.