Khamenei: Palestinians have ‘precision missiles’ to resist US peace plan

Iran’s supreme leader meets with Hamas deputy leader, says Hezbollah chief’s goal of praying on Temple Mount is ‘an absolutely practical and achievable aspiration’

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei speaks in a meeting with a group of clerics, in Tehran, Iran, July 16, 2019. (Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader via AP)
Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei speaks in a meeting with a group of clerics, in Tehran, Iran, July 16, 2019. (Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader via AP)

Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei met Monday with a delegation from the Palestinian terror group Hamas and held talks with its deputy chief, Saleh al-Arouri, who is heading the delegation.

Khamenei told the Hamas officials that supporting the Palestinians “is an ideological and religious matter” and strongly condemned the Mideast peace plan pushed by US President Donald Trump’s administration, which he said the Palestinians have “precision missiles” to resist.

“The dangerous conspiracy of the ‘Deal of the Century’ is aimed at destroying the Palestinian identity among the Palestinian public and youth,” an English statement on his website quoted him as saying.

“Confronting the Deal of the Century requires promotional, cultural, and intellectual efforts and the other method is to make the Palestinians feel advancement. Today Palestinians are equipped with precision missiles rather than stones and this means the feeling of advancement,” Khamenei added.

He also said “the return of this holy land [Israel] to the World of Islam is not a strange and unattainable matter” and called Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah’s goal of praying at the Al-Aqsa Mosque on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount “an absolutely practical and achievable aspiration for us.”

Al-Arouri told the Iranian leader that “we believe that based on the divine promise, Qods, and Palestine will be freed from the tyranny of the Zionists,” according to the statement from Khamenei’s office.

The Hamas delegation also met with Kamal Kharrazi, an adviser to Khamenei.

The Iranian official news agency IRNA said al-Arouri’s visit to Tehran followed a visit by senior Iranian parliamentary official Hossein Amir-Abdollahian to Lebanon last week.

Iran backs both Hamas and the Lebanese terror group Hezbollah. Iran and Hamas do not recognize Israel and have both vowed to destroy it.

On Sunday, al-Arouri met in Tehran with Kamal Kharazi, the head of Iran’s Strategic Council on Foreign Relations, and said that Hamas and Iran stand on “the same path” in fighting Israel, Iran’s semi-official Fars news agency reported.

“We are on the same path as the Islamic Republic — the path of battling the Zionist entity and the arrogant ones,” he said, according to the report.

Hamas deputy political chief Saleh al-Arouri, after signing a reconciliation deal with senior Fatah official Azzam al-Ahmad, during a short ceremony at the Egyptian intelligence complex in Cairo, Egypt, October 12, 2017. (AP/Nariman El-Mofty)

Arouri and several other high-ranking Hamas officials, including Moussa Abu Marzouk, Maher Salah, Husam Badran, Osama Hamdan, Ezzat al-Rishq and Ismail Radwan, arrived in Tehran on Saturday for a multi-day visit, the terror group’s website reported on Saturday.

Arouri, who was elected as Hamas’s deputy chief in October 2017, has traveled to Iran at least five times over the past two years.

He has frequently heaped praised on Iran, which is believed to be a major financial backer of the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas’s military wing.

“Iran is the only country that says that entity is carcinogenic and should be uprooted from the region,” he told the pro-Hamas Al-Quds TV in February 2018. “It is the only country that is prepared to provide real and public support to the Palestinian resistance and others to confront the entity.”

Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh told a group of Turkish journalists via video-conference on Saturday that he hopes the Hamas delegation’s visit in Iran would achieve “important results.”

Adam Rasgon contributed to this report.

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