Iran says Israel's 'destruction will come sooner' thanks to Trump's Jerusalem move

Iran says Israel's 'destruction will come sooner' thanks to Trump's Jerusalem move
Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital will "hasten the destruction" of the Jewish state, Iran's defence minister has said.
2 min read
12 December, 2017
Iran has long supported a number of anti-Israeli militant groups
Iran has condemned US President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital as a "foolish move" that will hasten the country's 'destruction'.

"(Trump's) step will hasten the destruction of the Zionist regime and will double the unity of Muslims," Iran's defence minister, Brigadier General Amir Hatami, said on Monday, according to state media.

Leaders of Iran, where opposition to Israel and support for the Palestinian cause has been central to foreign policy since the 1979 Islamic revolution, have denounced last week’s announcement, which includes a plan to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

The Palestinians want East Jerusalem as the capital of their future state.

The Iranian army's chief of staff, General Mohammad Baqeri, said Trump's "foolish move" could be seen as the beginning of a new intifada, or Palestinian uprising.

Iran has long supported a number of anti-Israeli militant groups, including the military wing of Lebanon-based Hizballah, which the deputy commander of Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards, Brigadier General Hossein Salami, said was "stronger than the Zionist regime".

Similarly, Qassem Soleimani, the head of the branch of the Guards that oversees operations outside of Iran's borders pledged the Islamic Republic's "complete support for Palestinian Islamic resistance movements" after phone calls with commanders from Islamic Jihad and the Izz al-Deen Qassam brigades, the armed wing of the Hamas movement, on Monday according to Sepah News, the news site of the Guards.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Monday stepped up efforts to rally Middle Eastern countries against US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital, which EU foreign ministers meanwhile declined to support.

Israel regards Jerusalem as its capital, a position nearly the entire world rejects, saying its status should be determined in peace talks with the Palestinians.

Jerusalem is a key issue in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and many Arab leaders and others have reacted in anger.  

Trump's move has been condemned worldwide and protests have been taking place globally including in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, Turkey, Malaysia, Indonesia, Egypt, Jordan.