Iran will never compromise on Palestinian cause: Zarif
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says Iranians have made the Palestinian cause an ideal of their own, stressing that the Islamic Republic will never compromise on this issue.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran sees the problems of Palestine as its own, like all other friends and neighboring Muslims, and their security and freedom as its own security and freedom,” Zarif said in an article in the Turkish Yeni Safak newspaper published on Monday.
Zarif’s comments came after at least 17 Palestinians lost their lives and more than 1,400 others sustained injuries on Friday when Israeli military forces opened fire on thousands of protesters who had flocked to a sit-in near the Gaza border.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas held the Israeli regime accountable for the deaths of the Palestinian protesters and called on the international community to urgently intervene to “protect” the Palestinian people against Israel’s “escalating daily aggression.”
The rallies coincided with the 42nd anniversary of Land Day, which commemorates the murder of six Palestinians by Israeli forces in 1976.
Palestinians have called the rally a “peaceful demonstration” in order to raise international awareness of the plight the displaced Palestinians are struggling with and take the chance to express their anger towards the Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip.
Palestinian leaders pledged to go beyond the Gaza fence next time and surprise Israel again after massive protests near the barrier were met with fierce Israeli force.
Former Hamas leader, Khaled Meshaal, said on Sunday that Israel has been emboldened by the crises and “weaknesses” plaguing the Arab world, adding, “The Palestinians will not give up the ‘right of return.”
Elsewhere in his article, Zarif warned that some countries were trying to take advantage of the Arab world “for settling their own scores and their greedy deeds” and reiterated that Iran; however, believed that its security and stability hinged on the “security and stability of the region, especially all its neighbors. This should be a priority for everyone.”
“In this context, the Islamic Republic of Iran has expressed its desire to actualize a joint security agreement based on mechanisms that spur dialogue, common principles and trust,” the top Iranian diplomat said.
He added that Iran has expressed its readiness to “cooperate with all sides to ensure good neighborly relations and security and to protect common interests.”
Zarif said foreign powers have chosen the option of “continuous and fierce wars in the region.”
“Israel’s war against Lebanon, the illegal occupation of the Palestinian lands, repeated violations of the Syrian airspace, and … the war against Yemen are all parts of these scenarios. Now we have to ask the question, what is the benefit of all these developments in our region and how have they affected the world?”
Ethnic, sectarian, religious and tribal conflicts have turned the Middle East into a geographical area lacking minimum security, he said and warned that despite the existence of many nations with common interests and few disputes, the region “has become a commodity with no safety.”
The Iranian foreign minister said, “We do not want to witness long bloody battles again. If we do not want to see the repetition of such a scene in our history, we should sit down and discuss our differences at the table, not on the battlefields!”
He stressed the importance of respecting the differences of views and the interests of all the countries in the region, pointing out, “Iran is once again loyally extending its hand to its neighbors, as it always does… Iran believes that our common interests are far greater than the differences of opinion arising from unfounded anxieties and temporary interests that will not be a priority in the years to come.”