‘Public duty,’ Iran’s Khamenei says on fight against Israel

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Tehran

Israel is not a state but a “terrorist garrison” against the Palestinians, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Friday as he asked Muslim nations to keep fighting against Israel.

“The fight against this despotic regime is the fight against oppression and the fight against terrorism.

And this is a public duty to fight against this regime,” Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said in a televised speech.

Khamenei was speaking on Iran’s annual Quds Day, which uses the Arabic name for Jerusalem, held on the last Friday of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.

Opposition to Israel is a touchstone of belief for Shia-led Iran, which backs Palestinian and Lebanese militant groups opposed to peace with the Jewish state, which Tehran does not recognise.

“Muslim nations’ cooperation on Quds (Jerusalem) is a nightmare for the Zionists,” Khamenei said.

Iranian officials have called for an end to Israel, including by a referendum that would exclude most of its Jews while including Palestinians in the region and abroad.

The coronavirus pandemic forced the government to cancel its annual Quds Day parade.

But Iranian state media showed footage of motorcyclists and vehicles flying Palestinian and Lebanese Hezbollah flags driving through Tehran streets. They also published pictures of people burning Israeli and American flags.—AP

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