Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called on the Muslim world Friday to keep fighting Israel, declaring the Jewish state a “terrorist garrison” which must be eliminated.
“The fight against this despotic regime is the fight against oppression and the fight against terrorism. And this is a public duty to fight against this regime,” Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said in a speech, as reported by the official IRNA news wire.
He delivered the damning address on Iran’s annual Quds Day, which uses the Arabic name for Jerusalem, which features annual calls for the death of Israel and its ally America.
The day is generally seen as the legacy of the late founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Imam Khomeini, who officially declared the last Friday of the month of Ramadan as International Quds Day in 1979.
Opposition to Israel is a fundamental belief for Shi’ite-led Iran, which backs Palestinian and Lebanese Islamic militant groups opposed to any peace with the Jewish state, which Tehran does not recognise.
“Muslim nations’ cooperation on Quds (Jerusalem) is a nightmare for the Zionists,” Khamenei said, before issuing his call to arms:
Since the first day, the Zionists turned the usurped Palestine into a terrorist base. Israel is not a country, rather it is a terrorist camp against the Palestinian nation and other Muslim nations. Fighting against this despotic regime is fighting against oppression and terrorism. And this is a collective responsibility.
Iranian officials have long called for the complete destruction of Israel, including by a referendum designed to exclude most of its Jews while including Palestinians in the region and abroad in a new and enlarged state.
Reuters reports the coronavirus pandemic forced the government to cancel its annual Quds Day parade, however Iranian state media showed footage of motorcyclists and vehicles flying Palestinian and Lebanese Hezbollah flags driving through Tehran streets.
They also published pictures of people burning Israeli and American flags.