Iran’s parliament on Monday approved legislation barring any cooperation with Israel, including the use of any Israeli computer hardware or software, and branding any such cooperation an act against God.
“Based on the first article of the bill, all Iranian bodies are required to use the country’s regional and international capacities to confront the Zionist regime’s measures,” an Iranian parliamentary spokesman, Seyed Hossein Naqavi Hosseini, said. According to the Fars news site, any cooperation or spying for “the Zionist regime” is to be considered “equal to enmity towards God and corruption on earth,” and “activities of the Israeli software platforms in Iran and using its hardware and software products is forbidden.”
The legislation also called for the establishment of a “virtual embassy in Palestine,” Fars added.
“The foreign ministry is required to make necessary arrangements to form the Islamic Republic of Iran’s virtual embassy or consulate (in Palestine) and submit the results for approval to the cabinet,” said one clause.
The law was adopted unanimously by all legislators present, Fars reported. There was no clarification as to how its provisions would be implemented.
The law passed ahead of Friday’s annual al-Quds day, which is usually marked by regime-orchestrated demonstrations across Iran against Israel and expressing support for Palestinians. It is held on the last Friday of Ramadan, which this year is May 22.
On Saturday, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani said Iranians living in areas considered to be at low risk of a further coronavirus outbreak will be allowed to attend Friday prayers including Quds Day commemorations.
“Two decisions have been made for the Quds Day; first is that Quds Day will be held in 218 cities which are white cities [considered to be at low risk of an outbreak] not in the form of rallies but by presence at Friday prayers, respecting all hygiene protocols,” Rouhani told a meeting of the national coronavirus taskforce, according to the semi-official Fars news agency.
In Tehran, which is deemed high-risk, a “symbolic ceremony” will be performed with a motorcade supervised by the Revolutionary Guards.
“It was decided that the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) be tasked with holding the rallies,” the president said.
Last month Iran held its annual parade to mark Army Day, but instead of the usual display of missiles and planes, the Islamic Republic flaunted its disinfectant trucks and mobile hospitals as the nation continued to battle the coronavirus pandemic. Iran announced Friday there had been nearly 7,000 deaths from COVID-19, while warning that the easing of lockdown measures could lead to further outbreaks.
Iran has marked al-Quds Day since the start of its 1979 Islamic Revolution by the late ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. Iran — which arms terror groups Hezbollah and Hamas, both of which are sworn to Israel’s destruction — says the day is an occasion to express support for the Palestinians.
Demonstrators usually set fire to American and Israeli flags, and last year in Tehran also burned effigies of US President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Similar rallies took place in 950 cities and towns across the country.
Rouhani’s announcement came as Iranian officials confirmed that a fire had broken out early Friday morning at the site of an ancient shrine revered by Iranian Jews as the burial place of the biblical Esther and Mordechai, and said that no damage was done to the hall housing the tomb itself.
An investigation revealed that a person was caught in CCTV footage trying to enter the holy site through an adjacent bank and “perform a series of actions” but “failed,” opposition news sites said, citing a report in the state-run Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA).
The report said the cameras had registered the person’s face, but “information about the person’s motives and identity cannot be provided until they are arrested.”
The IRNA report was deleted from its website two hours after its publication Saturday morning, the Radio Farda and Iran International websites said.
The attack came on May 15, the day after the 72nd anniversary of the founding of the State of Israel and marked as Nakba Day, or the day of catastrophe, raising widespread suspicion that it was a hate crime against Jews and the Jewish state.