Written by Memri
– And More Possible Than Ever Before
As it does every year, the Iranian regime is marking Qods (Jerusalem) Day, calling for the elimination of Israel. Ramazan Sharif, public relations director for the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) and head of the Headquarters for the Intifada and Jerusalem, announced that this year Tehran will hold Qods Day in 70 countries around the world.
Under the pressure of increasing regional isolation and as a result of the nuclear crisis, the Iranian regime, headed by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, is attempting to draw attention away from itself by calling on Muslims to unite against Israel to bring about its destruction. As Iranian Culture Minister Mohammad Hosseini said, "The oppressing Zionists must know that the Muslim ummah, and the Iranian people in particular, will always support the rights of the Palestinian nation, and will continue to do so until the Zionist regime is completely annihilated."
As part of this propaganda campaign, the regime invited the public to participate en masse in Qods Day marches across Iran, and clarified that this year, the holiday's focus would be on support for the regime of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad. Accordingly, regime supporter Ayatollah Jafar Sobhani warned that "participation in a Qods Day march is concrete evidence of support for Syria and defense of Jerusalem." Likewise, Majlis member Sharif Hosseini said: "Today, Syria is another Palestine, and the Iranian people must stand beside it this year, as a focus of the marches." Majlis National Security Committee chairman Ala Al-Din Boroujerdi stated, "With God's help, the [West's and Israel's] plot [against Syria] will boomerang on the Zionist regime, and there is no doubt that this illegitimate regime will be destroyed."
This report will review the main statements on the issue by regime officials and regime organs:
In a pre-Qods Day speech on August 15, 2012, to veterans of the Iran-Iraq War, Khamenei stated that Israel was the source of the Middle East's problems. He then called on the Muslims to abandon their sectarian disputes, which he explained were the fruit of plots by Israel and the West aimed at perpetuating the occupation of Palestine. Portraying the Arab world's calls to Iran to refrain from interfering in the Palestinian issue as a betrayal of the Palestinians, he exhorted all Muslims to rally to the aid of the Palestinians as a religious duty. He also said that he anticipated the restoration of Palestine to its rightful owners, the Palestinians, and added that Iran would triumph over the U.S. in the nuclear issue. The following are the main points of his statements:
"The victory of the Islamic Revolution set an historic obstacle in the path of the attempt by those seeking domination to cause the occupation of Palestine to be forgotten. As part of this [attempt], they brought up for discussion the issue of the Shi'ite-Sunni conflict and the Shi'ite Crescent – while the Palestinian nation has for 60 years been under pressure from these people...
"The [claim] that Iran, which revived and rebuilt the Palestinian cause, is a danger to the Islamic world, and the silence about the catastrophes that the Zionists are perpetrating – are these not betrayal? For us, the issue of Jerusalem is not tactical, but draws on deep Islamic belief. We view rescuing this Islamic state from the talons of the regime of the Zionist occupiers and their international supporters as a religious duty – and the other Islamic nations and governments must treat the Palestinian issue the same way.
Source: Fars (Iran), August 15, 2012
"As the morning star once rose on the Islamic Revolution's victory [in Iran]... it will again rise, [this time,] on the cause of Palestine, and this Islamic land will undoubtedly be restored to the Palestinian nation, [while] the superfluous, mendacious and false Zionist [regime] will be eradicated from the geographical landscape...
"Today, the Iranian nation faces challenges vis-Ã -vis the U.S., and if it displays [steadfastness] like the veterans [of the Iran-Iraq war], then, without any doubt and according to the honest promises of God, it will triumph."
In its August 16, 2012 editorial titled "The Obstacles to the Collapse of Israel Have Been Removed," the Kayhan daily stated that the liberation of Palestine was closer and more achievable than before, following the fall of the Western-linked regimes and the weakening of the U.S.'s status in the region. It went on to claim that there is a Palestinian, not Jewish, majority between the Mediterranean and the Jordan River. The following are highlights of the editorial:
"The declaration of one day in the Islamic calendar as Qods Day [by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in 1979] was the beginning of a very important change – not only for the fate of Palestine, but for the fate of the [entire] Islamic world. Accordingly, even after the liberation of Jerusalem and Palestine, this day will retain its importance for the Muslim nations...
"With an historical look at the roots of the current changes in the Arab region [i.e. the Middle East], we understand that Iran's [Islamic] Revolution laid the cornerstone of these changes, and that the declaration of World Qods Day, and the invitation to Muslims to again find their identity, played a central role in the spread of the resistance school of thought.
"Thus, Palestine played a dual role. On the one hand, the wretchedness that afflicted the Palestinians, especially in the last three decades, was not only due to the Zionist regime and the U.S., but also due to the Arab regimes in the region – particularly the previous Egyptian regime and the Saudi regime – and therefore, confronting the oppression of the Palestinians is based on confronting the Arab regimes that are the allies of the Zionist regime. On the other hand, the defense of Palestine's ideals is not perceived by the Arab young people only in the sense of liberating Palestine, but also in the sense of liberating all the Islamic lands from the Western regimes and the Zionist regime. Accordingly, it would be no exaggeration to state that everything started with the declaration of Qods Day...
"Today, more than at any other time, the liberation of Palestine is possible and imminent. This is because the Muslims are nearly united around the Palestinian focus, because the regimes that are allies of the West have significantly weakened, and because the Muslim awakening against the West's schemes is intensifying. The influence of the West, and particularly of the U.S., in the Islamic countries is very much weakened, and the young people have entered the arena of the defense of Palestine and the independence of the other Islamic countries, regardless of whether their governments agree. In addition, the Zionist regime is facing serious challenges from within.
"According to statistics published by the Zionist regime, the Jewish population of Palestine stands at 4.5 million, and according to Tel Aviv press reports, 1.5 million of these people have dual citizenship, such that that 1.5 million of all Israeli Jews live year-round outside the lands of Palestine and are in Palestine for [only] a week to a month out of the year. Thus, the true population of the Jews in the oppressive Israeli regime does not exceed three million. This is while the current Palestinian population of the 27,000 square km of the lands of Palestine tops 4.5 million, of which over a million live in the 1948 lands. So, if the [makeup] of the population determines the identity of the lands, then Palestine has an Arab Muslim majority, despite the loss of some 5 million of its natural residents between 1948 and 1967."
In an August 5 speech, Ramazan Sharif, IRGC public relations director and head of the Headquarters of the Intifada and Jerusalem, stated: "The country called Israel is a great deception that the U.S., England, and the Zionists have imposed on humanity. The existence of the Zionist regime is an insult to the nations that obtained their independence through struggle, resistance, and steadfastness against the arrogant and the imperialists.
"Today, an Israeli passport is something shameful and scorned in the world, and the people of the world are no longer willing to tolerate the Zionist regime amongst them; [the Zionists] are [now] completely isolated. Today, the name of Israel worldwide arouses the most significant hatred in the world. The shameful, calamitous measures being carried out by this child-murdering regime against the helpless Palestinian people stain the entire world.
"Soon, and with God's help, the [problem of the] loathsome [existence of] this cancerous growth will be resolved once and for all, by means of the motto 'ongoing intifada, steady resistance, and an exalted, progressive Islamic awakening and movement of the revolutionary fervor of the uprising nations.'"
Ramazan Sharif. Source: Resalat (Iran), August 6, 2012
© The Middle East Media Research Institute All Rights Reserved.
 In 1979, the founder of Iran's Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, declared that the last Friday of Ramadan would henceforth be Qods Day (this year it falls on August 17, 2012), and that this holiday would express the Iranian aspiration for the liberation of the lands of Palestine from Israel. Committee for Supporting the Intifada in Palestine Director-General Hossein Sheikholeslam, who is also advisor to Majlis speaker Ali Larijani, explained: "Qods Day is the day when millions of sons of the Muslim peoples, in Iran and in the Islamic countries, are in the arena of confrontation with the arrogance [i.e. the West, headed by the U.S.] and the Zionist regime, and call unanimously, with divine inspiration and while fasting [during Ramadan], for the destruction of the regime occupying Jerusalem and for the victory of the Intifada of the Palestinian people." IRNA (Iran), July 29, 2012.
 Mehr (Iran), August 14, 2012.
 Mho.farhang.gov.ir, August 15, 2012. Calling on the Iranian people to participate in Qods Day marches, Ramazan Sharif said: "The Iranian people's zealous and proud participation in World Qods Day... along with the international community, will give the signal of death to the Zionist regime." ISNA (Iran), July 27, 2012. Defense Minister Ahmad Wahidi said, in a similar vein, that the participation of millions in Qods Day would pave the way to the liberation of Jerusalem, and called on the Muslim countries to form a strategic alliance with the Palestinian people in order to force Israel to surrender. Yjc.ir, August 14, 2012.
 IRNA (Iran), August 14, 2012.
 Mehr (Iran), August 15, 2012.
 Boroujerdi also claimed that "Hizbullah and Hamas are the ideological offspring of Khomeini and [Supreme] Leader [Ali Khamenei], and their victory over the Zionist regime stems from their divine vision." IRNA (Iran), August 13, 2012.
 Mehr (Iran), August 15, 2012.