Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif has censured the United States and its regional allies in the Middle East for adopting “short-sighted” policies that encourage Israel to continue its criminal activities against the people of Palestine.
“Regrettably, short-sighted policies of some regional governments in befriending the Zionists and sidelining our Palestinian cause have made the apartheid Zionist regime and its supporters more brazen in their ongoing criminal acts,” Zarif told a meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Ministerial Committee on Palestine in the Azerbaijani capital Baku on Thursday.
The remarks came days after a controversial interview by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, where he appeared to publicly recognize the Israeli regime’s existence.
While both Riyadh and Tel Aviv had admitted to having established secret ties over the past years, the young prince’s announcement was a slap in the face for Palestinians in the wake of a brutal Israeli crackdown on peaceful anti-occupation protests in the Gaza Strip.
Israeli military forces have killed 20 protesters while injuring dozens more since March 30, when thousands of Gazans marched to the fence separating Israelis and Palestinians to mark the start of a six-week protest dubbed, “The Great March of Return.”
Undeterred by international condemnation, Israeli officials have pledged “a reaction of the harshest kind” if the protests continue.
Calling the Israeli violence “premeditated and deliberate,” Zarif said “those who support and enable the Israeli regime to commit these types of crimes have also the Palestinians’ blood on their hands.”
Trump’s embassy move
According to Zarif, the decision in December by US President Donald Trump to recognize Jerusalem al-Quds as Israel’s new capital was another reason that exacerbated the problem.
“These measures, which contravene international law and relevant UN General Assembly and Security Council resolutions, have demonstrated that the United States could have never been an impartial broker in dealing with the issue,” he added.
Israel lays claim to the entirety of Jerusalem al-Quds as its “capital” while Palestinians want its eastern part as the capital of a future state for themselves.
Palestinian leaders have warned that the planned relocation would fuel strong reaction in the region and deliver a death blow to any prospect of resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Commending NAM’s longtime support for Palestine, Zarif said the movement still had a lot to do to help end the violence through “collective action” in the United Nations General Assembly while ensuring that the UN Security Council would take the necessary steps to punish the perpetrators.
“Our movement has been right in placing emphasis on Palestine since its inception,” he stated, adding that this attention should lead to an organized effort towards “the realization of the basic rights of the Palestinian people.”
The Iranian FM said in conclusion that the movement needs to “call for full restoration of the rights of Palestinians, in particular the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with al-Quds al-Sharif as its capital, and to demand an immediate end to the siege on the Gaza Strip.”