Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani accused Western powers of trying to exploit differences between the world’s Sunni and Shia Muslims to divert attention from the Israel-Palestinian conflict, state television reported Friday.
Rouhani’s comments came as tens of thousands of Iranians joined anti-Israel rallies across the country to mark the annual al-Quds Day, established by the late founder of the Islamic Republic, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.
The protesters condemned the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories and chanted “Death to Israel” and “Death to America”.
“The global arrogance (the United States and its allies) wants to create discord among Muslims … Unity is the only way to restore stability in the region,” Rouhani said.
“We stand with the dispossessed Palestinian nation.”
Opposition to Israel, which Tehran refuses to recognise, has been a cornerstone of Iranian policy since its 1979 Islamic revolution. Shia Muslim Iran backs Palestinian and Lebanese militant groups who oppose peace with Israel.
“The Zionist regime (Israel) is a regional base for America and the global arrogance … Disunity and discord among Muslim and terrorist groups in the region … have diverted us from the important issue of Palestine,” Rouhani said.
Shia-led Iran has repeatedly called on its Sunni Muslim rival Saudi Arabia to help improve their strained bilateral relations and work for stability in the Middle East.
Arch-rivals for regional hegemony, the two oil producers are on opposite sides in proxy battles in the region, where they back competing factions in Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Lebanon and Bahrain.
Ties have worsened since Riyadh’s execution in January of prominent Shia cleric Nimr al-Nimr prompted attacks on the Saudi embassy in Tehran. Saudi Arabia subsequently cut all ties with Iran.
Riyadh is worried that a landmark nuclear deal reached between Iran, the United States and five other major powers in 2015 will help Tehran gain the upper hand in their regional standoff.
So typical of these hate mongers…the Iranians are filled with hate for the west and the Saudis so what do the leaders do?…blame all problems on the Americans?…they have built a society based on hate for anything western and therfore they will remain just nasty hate mongers who have nothing positive or useful to offer to the world…what a waste of human effort…
This man and Iranian generals killed 1 millions sunnis and made 7 millions sunni refugees for sake of minority shia dictators in syria. Homs,Hama and Aleppo cities were bulldozed in syria. Palestine was iran game to deceive sunni while in fact Iran like country cannot of think of killing even a single NATO soldier in Afghanistan. Sunni only kills nato soldiers around world
Comments are closed.