Iran's supreme leader says Israel's 'downward spiral' has begun
Marking annual Al-Quds Day, Ali Khamenei says fighting Israel is 'everyone's responsibility'
Iran on Friday marked the Al-Quds Day, an annual event to show solidarity with Palestinians in their struggle for the liberation of occupied territories.
In a televised speech, Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei said the "downward spiral" leading to the decline of Israel "has started and will not stop."
He said Palestinians who used to defend themselves with stones are now responding with sophisticated missiles, adding that the "balance has shifted" in favor of Palestine.
Al-Quds Day, marked for the first time by Iran's late founder Ayatollah Khomeini in 1979, is an important feature on the country's annual calendar with massive street rallies and public events.
For the second year, however, public events were canceled by the government amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Khamenei, Khomeini's successor, said fighting Israel is "everyone's responsibility," urging Palestinian resistance groups to continue to fight against the "usurping regime."
He said the growth of the Palestinian resistance axis is a "nightmare" for Israel and its American and European supporters, adding that the "failed plot of the Deal of the Century" and efforts by some Arab countries to normalize ties with Israel are "desperate attempts to escape that nightmare".
He also called for a referendum to determine the future of Palestinians and the return of Palestinian refugees to their land.
Earlier, Iran's Foreign Ministry said in a statement that the Al-Quds Day has turned into a "symbol of fighting occupation and bullying among Muslims and all freedom-seekers across the world."
It dubbed the settlement of issues like the end of the occupation, return of refugees, determination of Palestine's future based on a referendum, and establishment of an inclusive Palestinian government as "key to peace" in Palestine.
President Hassan Rouhani, in an earlier statement, called Israel "the enemy of the region," while referring to the Al-Quds Day as a "mourning day for the Zionists" this year.
Foreign Minister Javad Zarif described Palestine as "a yardstick for justice" while calling Al-Quds Day "a yearly reminder of the moral imperative of global solidarity for Palestine."Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.