May 29, 2023

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Tehran slams Israeli ultra-right minister’s desecration of Al-Aqsa Mosque

TEHRAN- Iran’s Foreign Ministry on Monday denounced the radical Israeli minister’s vandalism of the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound and urged other nations to retaliate for the provocative act.

On Sunday, Israel’s far-right security minister Itamar Ben-Gvir, who was escorted by occupation troops, stormed al-Aqsa Mosque, Islam’s third-holiest site, in al-Quds’ Old City.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani said, “Such audacious and provocative moves are another aspect of the widespread and continuous crimes of the apartheid Zionist regime against the Palestinian nation, as well as the religious and Islamic sanctities of this land.”

The Muslim world and the international community must respond to them in a way that is effective, quick, and deterrent, he continued.

Kanaani stated unequivocally that Holy al-Quds is and will be Palestine’s united and permanent capital, and that the Israeli regime’s repeated attacks on this city and its Islamic sanctuaries would not affect its reality or historical status quo.

During his entry into the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, Ben-Gvir proclaimed that the Israeli regime is “in charge here,” setting up a storm of criticism.

According to Israeli media, the minister’s visit was not planned with the Jordanian Waqf, the organization in charge of maintaining the location.

The event, held on “Jerusalem (Al-Quds) Day”, which marks the 1967 capture and annexation of East Jerusalem al-Quds – a move considered illegal under international law – has led to violence in recent years, as far-right Israelis shout provocative slogans and insults, as well as physically attack Palestinians and even journalists, Al Jazeera reported.

Speaking on behalf of the Palestinian president, spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh said, “Ben-Gvir’s incursion at an early hour, like thieves, into the al-Aqsa Mosque courtyards will not change the reality and will not impose Israeli sovereignty over it.”

Ben Gvir’s provocative visit to the site of the al-Aqsa Mosque in January sparked intense condemnations from the Arab world.

Under a status quo agreement struck more than a century ago, only Muslims are permitted to pray in the al-Aqsa Mosque compound. Non-Muslim guests are allowed only at certain hours and in specific areas. 

“Attack on border guards intended to disrupt security between Iran, Pakistan”

In another statement on Sunday, Kanaani vehemently denounced the “brutal terrorist attack” that left five Iranian border guards martyred in the southeast Saravan region on Saturday night.

The fatal terrorist assault at a station close to Pakistan was decried by Kanaani as an intentional attack on the security and interests of the two countries.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran believes that the outlawed and terrorist groups’ resort to such cowardly terrorist action following the presence of a high-ranking Pakistani delegation, led by Prime Minister of the Islamic Republic Pakistan Shehbaz Sharif, in a ceremony on the inauguration of projects of the joint border market and transfer of electricity, (that was also) attended by our country’s president [Ebrahim Raisi] at the Pishin border, was a targeted measure against the security and interests of the two countries with the purpose of preventing the common border from being the border of friendship and cooperation and the economic border for the people of the two countries,” Kanaani stated.

He urged Pakistani authorities to swiftly put the bilateral agreements into action in face of terrorist organizations and fight for tighter border security.

The spokesperson reiterated Iran’s commitment to the development of regional security and cooperation and issued a warning that the terrorist groups’ goal was to jeopardize the safety of the shared border and the local populace in those regions.

Additionally, he sent his sympathies to the families of the victims of the terrorist assault.

A fight that broke out in the Saravan district on Saturday night resulted in the martyrdom of five Iranian border guards and the injury of another two.

The police said that a gang of gunmen trying to breach the border near the Mazesar border post came into conflict with the soldiers operating in the border regiment of Saravan. 

The police added that the terrorists abandoned the area after suffering severe casualties.

The distance between Saravan and the shared border with Pakistan is only 40 kilometers.

Farah Azeem Shah, the spokesperson for the Baluchistan Government in Pakistan, also denounced the terrorist assault.

The time has come for the governments and countries of Iran and Pakistan to send a strong message to these groups, Azeem Shah said, emphasizing that the goal of such acts of terrorism was to disrupt the cordial relations between Pakistan and Iran.

Such despicable conduct, according to the Pakistani official, cannot sour goodwill for the Islamic Republic of Iran. “This issue will not have an impact on our joint trade and border development projects, and Iran-Pakistan relations will only get stronger.”

In recent years, battles between Iranian security forces and terrorist organizations as well as drug traffickers have taken place in Saravan.

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