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Iran: Bushnell’s anti-Israel action bespeaks ‘awakened consciences’ in US

People light candles during a vigil in memory of US airman Aaron Bushnell outside the Israeli embassy in Washington on February 26, 2024. (Photo by AP)

Iran has praised Aaron Bushnell, an active-duty member of the US Air Force who set himself on fire in protest at Israel’s genocidal campaign in the besieged Gaza Strip.

The American individual was the voice of the awakened consciences in the United States, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Nasser Kan’ani said.

The statement was made in a post on X on Tuesday.

Bushnell set himself ablaze in front of the Israeli embassy in Washington, D.C., in an act of protest against the US administration’s support for the occupying regime’s campaign.

“The self-immolation of Aaron Bushnell, an officer of the US Air Force, in protest against the continued crimes of the Zionists in Gaza, showed how much the awakened consciences in the US are ashamed of their government’s support for the genocide of Palestinians,” Kan'ani stated.

“Bushnell’s cries are the loud voice of the awakened consciences in the US against the government’s complicity in the Palestinian genocide.”

The 25-year-old airman was dressed in US military attire on Sunday as he used a lighter to set himself on fire after dousing himself in a flammable liquid.

“I will no longer be complicit in genocide. I’m about to engage in an extreme act of protest, but compared to what people are experiencing in Palestine at the hands of their colonizers, it’s not extreme at all,” he said in a video he made while walking in front of the embassy.

“This is what our ruling class has decided will be normal. Free Palestine.”

Bushnell was engulfed in flames for approximately one minute before law enforcement officials extinguished the fire.

Holding a Palestinian flag, a female protester also self-immolated outside an Israeli consulate building in Atlanta in December, in what US police described as “an extreme act of political protest.”

The protester sustained third-degree burns to her body, with authorities declining to release her name or age.

Israel launched the campaign of death and destruction on October 7, 2023, after the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas conducted the surprise Operation Al-Aqsa Storm against the occupying entity in response to the regime’s decades-long atrocities.

Israel has killed nearly 30,000 people and injured more than 70,000 others in Gaza since that October day.

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