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Khamenei addresses ‘regional crisis’ during Hamas delegation visit

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei calls for “jihad, struggle and tireless effort,” and says “promotional, cultural and intellectual work” is needed to counter the U.S. peace “conspiracy.”

Then-Hamas deputy political chief Salah al-Arouri presents an image of Jerusalem to Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in Tehran, July 22, 2019. Source: Screenshot.
Then-Hamas deputy political chief Salah al-Arouri presents an image of Jerusalem to Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in Tehran, July 22, 2019. Source: Screenshot.

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei took the opportunity of a visit by delegations from Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad on Monday to address recent developments in the region.

“God has promised assistance and victory to those who are steadfast in His path,” Khamenei stated, according to Iran’s Press TV. “However, the fulfillment of this promise has requirements, the most important of which is jihad, struggle and tireless effort in various political, cultural, intellectual, economic and military dimensions.”

Regime news agencies stressed that the current meetings come at a time of regional crisis.

Khamenei also criticized U.S. President Donald Trump’s “treacherous” peace initiative, saying there was need for promotional, cultural and intellectual work to confront it.

“The goal of this dangerous [American] conspiracy,” Khamenei wrote on Twitter, “is to eliminate the Palestinian identity among the people and youth. There is a need to confront this main goal and not allow them to eradicate the Palestinian identity with the use of money [a reference to the Bahrain economic workshop in June].”

While this is far from the first time Khamenei has met with Hamas and PIJ delegations, Monday’s meeting was unusual because it was not restricted to the organizations’ leaders, as is ordinarily the case.

The meeting was led by Hamas deputy political chief Salah al-Arouri, and included the head of “Hamas abroad,” Maher Salah, as well as Moussa Abu Marzouk, Hamas’s chief of international relations. Arouri came bearing a letter from Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh.

Al-Arouri spent 15 years in Israeli prisons, and admitted planning the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teens in June 2014 that sparked the war in Gaza that year. Arouri is based in a Hezbollah neighborhood of Beirut.

The delegation also met with the head of Iran’s Foreign Policy Strategic Council and former foreign minister Kamal Kharrazi, who told his visitors that the “visit proves that the Iranian Islamic Republic continues to support Palestinian resistance.”

Khamenei also addressed recent comments by Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah.

“That Mr. Sayyid Hassan Nassrallah says: ‘I will pray at Masjid al-Aqsa [the Al-Aqsa mosque], God willing,’ ” wrote Khamenei, “is an absolutely practical and achievable aspiration for us. If we all act upon our duties, the Divine promise will definitely come true.”

This article first appeared on the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs website.

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