Iranian President Rouhani: ‘Jihad Against Tel Aviv Only Recourse for Palestinians’
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Tuesday that because the “Zionist regime and its supporters” have paved the way for terrorism throughout the Middle East — causing Muslim states to be preoccupied with their own internal woes — the only recourse for the Palestinians was jihad against Tel Aviv, the semi-official state news agency Fars reported.
According to the report, Rouhani made this statement during a meeting in Tehran with the leader of the Gaza-based, Tehran-backed terrorist organization Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), Ramadan Shalah. Refusing to refer to the Jewish state by name, Rouhani also said that, because world public opinion understands the “usurper regime” has never sought peace, the Palestinians can make a good case and have a strong argument for engaging in armed “resistance.”
Shalah, named by the US as a “Specially Designated Terrorist” — and placed on the FBI’s “most-wanted” list for conducting the affairs of the PIJ through bombings, murders, extortion and money-laundering — told Rouhani that he appreciated Iran’s support for the Palestinian people and “resistance groups,” a term used by radical Islamists to portray themselves as fighters for a cause, rather than terrorists.
Rouhani, a Shi’ite cleric and long-time politician in Iran, was elected to the presidency in 2013, replacing predecessor Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Rouhani has long been touted in the West as a “moderate,” though he has recently joined Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in accusing the United States of breaching the nuclear deal signed between Tehran and six world powers in July 2015.
The meeting between Rouhani and Shalah came amid growing tensions between Washington and Tehran — with the Senate passing a bill extending sanctions on the Islamic Republic for an additional 10 years — and an ongoing low-level intensity Palestinian terror wave in Israel, characterized by stabbings, car-rammings and, most recently, arson attacks.