As supporters of the Palestinian cause prepare to mark the International Quds Day worldwide, Iran’s president has denounced Israel as the enemy of Palestinians and other nations in the region, but said the Zionist regime’s occupation of Palestine will not last forever.
“The Zionists are the enemies of the region, of security, of Palestinian people and of their neighbors, and they are the executioners and tyrants of [contemporary] history, who have displaced millions of people from their homes,” President Hassan Rouhani said at a weekly cabinet session on Wednesday.
Referring to International Quds Day, which falls on May 7 this year, Rouhani said the occasion would be a “mourning day for the Zionists” this year.
He said Quds Day, which was named by the late founder of the Islamic Republic Imam Khomeini to champion the Palestinian cause, is a source of pride for the Islamic Republic of Iran and a legacy of the late Imam.
“The Zionists thought that the issue of Quds was done for good, and that their occupation was consolidated. But then the Imam created this earthquake (Quds Day) and made them realize that Quds is victorious,” he said.
The president further said that the Palestinian people will sooner or later return to their land, and that al-Quds and al-Aqsa Mosque will be liberated from the occupation.
Elsewhere in his Wednesday comments, Rouhani said the Israeli regime tried very hard to overthrow the Islamic Revolution soon after its came to fruition, adding that all the difficulties the Iranian nation has been facing up to the current day are somehow rooted in Israeli enmity.
‘Zionists did a big job to get Trump elected’
He explained that Iran and six world powers were on the verge of reaching a nuclear agreement nearly a year before the historic Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) was inked in 2015, but Israel and certain reactionary countries in the region told the US to hold off for a few months.
They told the US, according to Rouhani, that “we will reduce oil prices so Iran would be forced to agree to whatever you say.” And that is how they managed to hamper the signing of a deal, he recalled.
He said they continued their conspiracies against Iran even after the JCPOA was clinched and that they succeeded in one of their plots during the 2016 US election, which saw Donald Trump’s rise to the Oval Office.
Rouhani was referring to the US withdrawal from the JCPOA in May 2018 by President Trump, who under intense lobbying by Israel and Saudi Arabia adopted a very hostile policy of sanctions and threats against the Islamic Republic.
“The Zionists did a big job to get Trump elected and they knew [Trump] was an inept person who can be fooled easily,” he said. “They made him their mercenary and scrapped the JCPOA, thinking the deal was finished for good.”
‘Sanctions have been broken’
The Iranian chief executive also voiced optimism about the ongoing talks in Vienna to secure a revival of the JCPOA under the new US leadership, which has promised to rejoin the deal and abandon Trump’s Iran policy.
“As the head of the executive branch, I announce before the people that the sanctions have been broken, and if we stand united, the sanctions will be lifted soon,” he said, emphasizing that the other side has no way but to return to all of its commitments under the JCPOA.
Rouhani lauded the Iranian negotiators, headed by Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi, saying, “What our negotiators did in Vienna with regard to the sanctions has been a big job, and if the other side fully returns to law, to its commitments and to the [UN Security Council] Resolution 2231, I think things will be wrapped up soon.”
The negotiations are in the right framework and direction, he reiterated.
Talks in Vienna began early last month with three rounds having already been concluded.
The next round is scheduled to begin on Friday, when negotiators from the participants to the JCPOA – Iran, Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany – as well as the US would return to the Austrian capital after consulting with their respective capitals.
Russia’s top negotiator Mikhail Ulyanov said on Tuesday that the talks are still making progress in spite of the “wishful thinking” of some bad actors.
On Saturday, after the conclusion of the third round of the talks, Iran’s Araqchi said the discussions have reached a level of “maturity” and “clarity” while there remains a lengthy and bumpy road ahead.