Iran’s President says jihad is the only option for Palestinians

Iran’s President has met the leader of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) terror group and said violence is the only option for Palestinians against Israel.

President Hassan Rouhani met Ramadan Abdullah Shalah in Tehran yesterday. He said: “There is no way, but jihad and resistance for the Palestinians against the usurper regime (Israel).”

He also suggested that Palestinians should take advantage of the “strong argument” within world public opinion that “the Zionist regime (Israel) has never been after peace” and respond with violence.

Rouhani accused Israel of fuelling instability in the Middle East, in order to distract global attention from the Palestinians. According to the Fars news agency, he specifically blamed Israel for sectarian conflicts in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and North Africa.

Shalah is classified by the US as a “specially designated terrorist” while the PIJ has claimed responsibility  for a number of attacks on Israel, including rockets fired from the Gaza Strip. Shalah told Rouhani yesterday that he appreciated Iran’s support for the Palestinian people and “resistance groups”. Tehran reportedly provides financial and material support to Islamist terror groups in the region, including Hezbollah.

Also yesterday, Rouhani called on the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran to begin to “plan the design and construction of a nuclear propeller to be used in marine transportation”. It was unclear whether Rouhani was referring to applying such technology to ships, submarines or both.

Rouhani said that his order was “with regards to recent [US Congress] legislation to extend the Iran Sanctions Act”. Two weeks ago, US Congress voted to continue applying a series of sanctions on Iran, which are separate from the sanctions the P5+1 powers (US, UK, France, Russia, China and Germany) agreed to lift as part of last year’s nuclear deal with Iran.

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said last month that he regarded such an extension as a breach of last year’s nuclear accord and that Iran would “definitely react to it”.


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