INTERNATIONAL

Fight to liberate Palestine is Islamic duty: Iran’s Khamenei

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei  

He hits out at Western governments and their Arab ‘puppets’

Iran’s supreme leader said it was an “Islamic duty” to fight for the “liberation of Palestine” in a landmark speech on Friday amid rising tensions with regional arch-enemy Israel.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei lashed out at Western governments and their Arab “puppets” for supporting the Jewish state, in his first ever address marking Quds (Jerusalem) Day.

The 80-year-old leader also appeared to confirm for the first time that Iran has helped to provide Palestinians with arms.

The remarks came at the end of a week that saw Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu launch a Twitter tirade against Mr. Khamenei and reports that the two sides carried out cyberattacks on each other.

“The aim of this struggle is the liberation of the entire Palestinian land” and “the return of all Palestinians to their country,” Mr. Khamenei said on state television.

“The policy of normalising the presence of the Zionist regime in the region is one of the major policies of the U.S.,” he said.

“Some Arab governments in the region, which play the role of U.S. puppets, have provided the necessary preconditions for this, such as economic ties and the like; these efforts are completely fruitless and sterile.”

“Everyone must fill the hand of the Palestinian fighter and strengthen his back...We will proudly do our best in this way.”

“One day we realised that the only problem of the Palestinian fighter... was the lack of weapons.”

“We planned” to resolve this issue, and “the result is that the balance of power in Palestine has changed: today Gaza can stand up to the Zionist enemy’s military aggression and win.”

Every year since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, Iran has marked Quds Day on the last Friday of Ramzan in solidarity with the Palestinians.

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