Khamenei: Resistance only way to free oppressed Palestine

"No doubt, resistance is the only way to free an oppressed Palestine, and it’s the only cure for wounds on the body of that brave and proud nation."

By REUTERS
April 4, 2018 22:24
1 minute read.
Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei

Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. (photo credit: AFP PHOTO / HO / KHAMENEI.IR)

BEIRUT – Any move to negotiate with Israel would be an “unforgivable mistake,” Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Wednesday, after Saudi Arabia’s crown prince said Israelis were entitled to live peacefully on their own land.

Saudi Arabia does not officially recognize Israel, but Muhammad bin Salman’s comments, quoted in the US magazine The Atlantic, are a further sign of an apparent thawing in bilateral ties.

They come as mainly Sunni Saudi Arabia faces off against Shi’ite Iran in a regional power struggle. Tehran and Riyadh back opposing sides in the conflicts in Yemen and Syria as well as rival political groups in Iraq and Lebanon.

“Movement toward negotiation with the cheating, lying and oppressive regime [of Israel] is a big, unforgivable mistake that will push back the victory of the people of Palestine,” Khamenei said in a statement posted on his official website.

The statement, which did not explicitly name Saudi Arabia, said it was the duty of all Muslims to support Palestinian “resistance movements” and it pledged continued Iranian backing for Hamas.

After the crown prince’s comments, his father, King Salman, reiterated Saudi Arabia’s support for a Palestinian state.

Riyadh has long maintained that normalizing ties with Israel hinges on an Israeli withdrawal from land captured in the 1967 Middle East war.

However, Saudi Arabia opened its air space for the first time to a commercial flight from Delhi to Israel last month.


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