Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei says the United States and Zionists are directing belligerence against Iran because Islam is most prominent in the Islamic Republic.
“After the establishment of the Islamic Republic, where a characteristic of the Prophet’s rule emerged and still continues, the enemies of human societies began battling what constitutes the reason for the progress of human societies, namely Islam, because Islam can stop oppression against humanity,” the Leader said on Tuesday, which marked the occasion of Eid al-Mab’ath.
The day marks the appointment of Muhammad (PBUH) to prophethood through divine order, and Ayatollah Khamenei was addressing a gathering of Iranian authorities and the ambassadors of Muslim nations on this occasion.
“Today, all these animosities [targeting Iran and Islam] are spearheaded by the US and Zionists,” Ayatollah Khamenei said.
The Leader noted that “the creation of terrorist groups in the name of Islam and engendering divisions among Muslim countries, including in Iraq, Syria, Bahrain, and Yemen, are among the conspiracies devised by the oppressive US and the evil Zionist regime to fight Islam.”
Advice for Iran’s presidential candidates
Ayatollah Khamenei further told the candidates contesting the presidential election in Iran that they should not be eyeing foreign assistance to enable the country’s development.
“They should pledge that they would look toward the [Iranian] nation itself, and not look beyond the borders, for the advancement of the country’s affairs, its economic development, and for removing obstacles,” the Leader stated.
The Iranian presidential election is slated for May 19.
A Russian lawmaker has reacted sharply to remarks by British Defense Secretary Michael Fallon about the UK’s readiness to launch a preemptive nuclear strike against “enemies,” stressing that the comments deserve a “tough response.”
Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today program on Monday, Fallon said the government of Prime Minister Theresa May could not rule out using nuclear weapons as a first preemptive strike “in the most extreme circumstances.”
Asked in what circumstances, he replied, “They are better not specified or described, which would only give comfort to our enemies.”
Reacting to Fallon’s statement, Frants Klintsevich, first deputy chairman of the defense committee in Russia’s upper house of parliament, the Federation Council, said Monday that the remark “deserves a tough answer, and I’m not afraid to overdo it.”
Fallon’s threat should be viewed as part of a “psychological warfare,” said Klintsevich.
“Otherwise, this looks absolutely bad as a natural question arises – who is it that the UK is ready to preemptively use nuclear weapons against?” Klintsevich’s press service quoted him as saying.
The Russian MP further said, “If Britain attacks a nuclear power, it will be “literally wiped off the earth by a retaliatory strike given its not-too-vast territory.”
However, if a non-nuclear state is implied, the UK seems to be open to repeating what the US did to the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, he added.
Towards the end of World War II, the US military dropped nuclear bombs on the two cities with the consent of the United Kingdom, killing at least 129,000 people. The two bombings are the only use of nuclear weapons for warfare in history.
“Those times are over, as well as the times of the former mightiness of the British Empire,” the Russian MP said. “So cut the coat according to the cloth, as we say.”
Fallon’s comments came after British Labour Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn suggested that he was prepared to scrap the Trident nuclear program entirely, adding that a Labour government would launch an immediate defense policy review.
Facing an uproar over his stance, Corbyn was later forced to issue a statement, saying that his party still supported Trident.
Israeli military forces have wrecked the Bedouin village of Araqeeb in the Negev region of southern Israel once again as the Tel Aviv regime presses ahead with its land expropriation policies and settlement construction activities to uproot Palestinians.
Israeli bulldozers entered the community, located 8 kilometers (five miles) north of Beersheba, on Tuesday morning and leveled lands as well as makeshift structures built in the area.
Israeli bulldozers, escorted by groups of Israeli soldiers, have frequently raided Araqeeb and detained several Bedouins.
The first demolition of al-Araqeeb took place on June 27, 2010, and the village has been ruined 112 times ever since.
The last wrecking of al-Araqeeb occurred on April 5, when Israeli bulldozers tore down several houses.
Rights groups argue that the demolition of al-Araqeeb and other Bedouin villages is an attempt by the Israeli regime to uproot indigenous Palestinians from the Negev region and confiscate more land for the expansion of settlements.
Israel detains 15 Palestinians in occupied West Bank
Meanwhile, at least 15 Palestinians, including three minors, have been seized by Israeli forces during overnight military raids in the occupied West Bank.
Palestinian and Israeli sources said five of the abductions took place in Askar refugee camp on the outskirts of the northern West Bank city of Nablus.
Two Palestinians were also nabbed in the town of Huwarra. Israeli forces seized the other Palestinians in the village of Haris, the cities of Ramallah and Bethlehem, as well as the town of Beit Fajjar.
Israel is holding a total of 6,500 Palestinians, including women, children and lawmakers, in prisons and detention facilities across the occupied territories, three Palestinian non-governmental organizations say.
In a joint press released on April 15, the Commission of Detainees and Ex-Detainees Affairs (CDA), the Palestinian Prisoners’ Society and the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) said 57 women and 300 children were among the detainees.
The statement noted that 500 inmates were being incarcerated under the practice of administrative detention, which is a policy under which Palestinian inmates are kept in Israeli detention facilities without trial or charge.
Some Palestinian prisoners have been held in administrative detention for up to 11 years.