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Iran lauds South Africa for taking Israel to court over Gaza genocide

Judges and parties sit during a hearing at the International Court of Justice in The Hague, Netherlands, Jan. 12, 2024. (Photo by AP)

Iranian President Ebrahim Raeisi says South Africa’s genocide case against Israel at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) has drawn the admiration of all freedom seekers worldwide, hours before the court announces its interim ruling. 

During a telephone conversation with his South African counterpart Cyril Ramaphosa on Thursday night, Raeisi lauded the “courageous” initiative, stressing that the move was taken by a country that has experienced the menace of racism and genocide for years.

"The measure is praised not only by the Muslim world but also by all freedom seekers across the globe," the Iranian president said, according to his press service. 

Raeisi added that the Tel Aviv regime and its sponsors will surely seek to obstruct legal proceedings, noting that "All world nations expect the ICJ to mete out justice and pronounce a verdict in condemnation of the criminal Zionist regime."

He stated that South Africa’s genocide case against Israel over Gaza war comes amid the apathy and inaction of international organizations to stop the conflict.

The case will once again record in history the names of South African leaders as anti-apartheid and justice-seeking, Raeisi said.

Elsewhere, the Iranian president went on to say that Tehran is determined to tap existing potentials, and further develop relations with Pretoria in various spheres of politics, trade, science and technology.

For his part, Ramaphosa described Iran as a trusted ally that has always stood by his country in difficult times.

The South African president said he was delighted that influential and pacifist countries like the Islamic Republic of Iran have been supporting the Palestinian nation and demanding the restoration of their rights.

He pointed out that the opposition of certain allies of Israel to the ICJ case will not dissuade Pretoria from fighting against the Tel Aviv regime’s genocide and criminal acts.

“Such countries have long been pursuing a hypocritical and deceitful approach in international relations. However, the unfolding calamities in Gaza have exposed their true nature, and world nations have now realized that they do not care about human lives at all,” Ramaphosa said.

South Africa filed the lawsuit against Israel at the end of December, noting that Israel’s actions are “genocidal in character because they are intended to bring about the destruction of a substantial part of the Palestinian national, racial and ethnical group.”

The application also said Israeli attacks breach the UN’s Genocide Convention, and urged the court to “order Israel to cease killing and causing serious mental and bodily harm to Palestinian people in Gaza.”

South Africa has been one of the outspoken critics of Israel’s ongoing onslaught against Palestinians and has led some initiatives to hold Israel accountable for its actions in Gaza.

Israel launched hostilities in Gaza following a historic operation by the Gaza-based Hamas resistance group against the occupying entity in retaliation for its intensified atrocities against the Palestinian people. More than 100 days into the campaign, the regime has achieved no objectives despite killing at least 26,083 people in Gaza, around 70 percent of them women and children.

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