Palestine Is Iran’s Central Issue

A senior adviser to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Friday that Palestine remains Iran’s central issue, Quds Press has reported.

“The enemy axis creates sedition in the region in order to divert eyes from the Palestinian cause,” Ali Akbar Velayati told a conference in Lebanon to mark the centenary of the infamous Balfour Declaration. “The choice of resistance and confrontation is the only road to liberate occupied Palestine.”

This echoed his earlier comments on Thursday at the “International Union of Resistance Scholars” summit — a gathering of 80 Islamist clerics from 200 countries where Velayati noted that some governments in the region have opted for “compromise” with Israel and are involved in the “sedition” programs. “Hamas has rejected the Israeli conditions set for the reconciliation, which were laying down its arms, recognizing Israel and cutting relations with Iran,” he added.

“Certain countries in the region are obsessed with normalizing relations with the Zionist regime. These countries, which include Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and other Arab states that have discreetly warmed their ties with Israel, were willing to abandon the Palestinian cause, whereas Iran emphasized that “resistance, and not compromise, remains as the only path to freedom of Palestine,” Velayati declared.

Khamenei’s adviser reiterated that the latest visit to Iran by Hamas officials was an “actual implementation” of the movement’s rejection of the Israeli conditions.

With a Saudi-Israeli rapprochement taking place, Palestinian groups have complained that they are left without any Arab or Islamic support to confront Israel. Sensing an opportunity to further exert its influence in the region, Iran has renewed dialogue with Hamas, establishing common ground and cooperation that can serve the interests of both parties. Earlier this year a Gulf Arab diplomatic source told Al-Monitor, “Iran is exploiting the Palestinians and using them to implement its sectarian agenda in the Middle East.”

Cover image: Hamas political leader Ismail Haniyeh delivers a speech in front of portraits of late Iranian revolutionary founder Ayatollah Khomeini (left), and supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (right), at a rally in Tehran, February 11, 2012. (AP/Vahid Salemi)

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