Rouhani urges Muslim nations to cut Israel ties, ‘revise’ US economic links
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Rouhani urges Muslim nations to cut Israel ties, ‘revise’ US economic links

Iran’s president, in Istanbul, denounces Trump’s ‘destructive’ embassy move to Jerusalem, demands ‘boycott of the Zionists’

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan (R) shakes hands with his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani during an extraordinary meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Istanbul on May 18, 2018. (AFP PHOTO / POOL / Kayhan OZER)
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan (R) shakes hands with his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani during an extraordinary meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Istanbul on May 18, 2018. (AFP PHOTO / POOL / Kayhan OZER)

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani called on Islamic nations Friday to “revise” their ties with the US and cut all ties to Israel in light of Washington’s controversial relocation of its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

“In order to assist the Palestinian nation and counter the destructive decision by [US President Donald] Trump, we call on Muslim governments and freedom-seeking nations in the world to revise their political, economic and commercial ties with the US administration, and also cut all their relations with the occupying Zionist regime and boycott the products and companies of the Zionists,” Rouhani said, according to Iran’s Press TV.

Rouhani, speaking a a summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Istanbul, accused Israel of committing crimes against Palestinians for the past 70 years.

“While hundreds of thousands of innocent people are deprived of the most basic human rights, the Zionist regime has deceitfully presented its apartheid and racist regime as a democracy and describes its religious extremism as secularism. The most saddening point is that some Western countries are justifying the aggression of the occupiers,” he said.

He also called for the embassy issue to be raised at the UN General Assembly, adding that the assembly shouldalso examine Israeli “crimes” in the Gaza Strip during recent clashes along the border.

The deaths of 62 Palestinians during violent protests Monday, set to coincide with the embassy move, were met with international outrage and calls for an independent investigation of events. Hamas has subsequently admitted that 50 of the dead were members of the terror group. Three others were Islamic Jihad members.

Speaking at the same summit, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused Israel of “brutality” comparable to that of the Nazis.

Rouhani also addressed the US pullout from the nuclear deal with Tehran, saying “This measure, which was in continuation of other instances of the US’s unilateral withdrawal from some other important international agreements, indicated what a grave threat the new US administration is to the international legal system and global security.”

Iran previously denounced Trump as “feeble-minded” over the embassy move.

“America has entered a crisis of strategic decision-making that looks at the international arena immaturely and adventurously,” parliament speaker Ali Larijani, a key establishment figure, said at a Monday conference on the Palestinian situation in Tehran.

“I believe the current US president is not capable of identifying and judging the long-term consequences of his actions,” he added.

“Spur-of-the-moment and uncalculated actions cannot continue in today’s world. Feeblemindness is costly for statesmen and they will eventually have to pay the price,” Larijani said.

Iran is a key backer of Palestinian terrorist groups, including Hamas, and opposition to Israel has been a central tenet of its regime since the 1979 Islamic revolution.

Larijani called for an “immediate reaction” from Palestinians, Islamic countries and the international community — including boycotts and official complaints to the United Nations.

The US “must not think that such actions… can remain without a response,” he said.

AFP contributed to this report.

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