Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei
In this speech from January 2018, Iran’s Supreme Leader Khamenei again uses the cause of Palestinian freedom, suggesting that Iran’s regional expansionism and wars across the Middle East are simply part of its preparations to liberate Palestine. The Iranian leader fails to explain the morality of occupying five other Arab nations, as the regime boasts that it has done in recent years, supposedly in order to liberate the sixth one.
In this excerpt from his speech delivered at the annual conference for members of the Parliamentary Union for the OIC Member States (PUIC) on January 28, Khamenei says, “The struggle against the Zionist regime will attain results, and if we think that it is no longer worthwhile to continue the struggle and it is too late, no it is not like this. But even if tens of years pass [in the struggle for Palestinian freedom], certainly by the will of God, the struggle will attain its objective. You see, resistance has advanced so far today that while once the Israelis were chanting “From the Nile to the Euphrates”, today they are building walls around themselves so that they can preserve their existence in the occupied lands.”
Khamenei’s speech once again makes it clear that Iran’s regime is exploiting the cause of Palestinian freedom and of the regime’s supposed mission to liberate Jerusalem in order to deflect attention from its own current regional wars of occupation, which have killed, maimed or dispossessed millions in Syria and Iraq since 2011. As the supposed Islamic Republic’s rulers and loyalists have done since 1979, Khamenei is simply using the Palestinian cause for cheap PR, as a way to win public support in the Muslim world and to sustain the regime’s ever-more implausible ‘resistance’ narrative. The regime’s cynical use of these tactics is nothing new; even while the Iranian regime was holding its first ‘Al Quds Day’ parade to show its professed devotion to “liberating Jerusalem”, senior regime officials was signing agreements to buy weapons from Israel valued at around US$133 million for use in its war against Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, who both Israel and Iran’s regime viewed as an adversary. Then as now, the regime saved its military forces and weapons for use against Arabs in the region, and against its own people, to crush freedom rather than to bring it.