The chief of staff of the Iranian Armed Forces said President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital will “usher in a new intifada against the Zionist occupying regime.” In a statement, Major General Hossein Bagheri added that the U.S. “plot” will further unite Islamic “resistance” forces around the world to confront America and annihilate “the cancerous tumor [Israel] from the West Asia region.” He warned that the “path of resistance continue with more force and speed” to liberate Jerusalem in the near future. “In principle, Israel doesn’t exist that a capital can be introduced and designated for it,” he stated. “The plot will not only increase attention in the Islamic world to al-Quds [Jerusalem] and the Palestinian issue, but will usher in a new intifada against the occupying Zionist regime (Israel). We warn that this stupid and ignorant move by the American president, which has hurt the pure sensitivities of millions of Muslims around the world, will befall themselves and the mercenaries of the evil Zionist regime.” He further stressed that the United States and Israel will be responsible for any violence and conflict that may arise because Trump’s announcement.
Comment: On Wednesday, President Trump defied critics at home and abroad and recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. He also instructed the State Department to start the process of moving the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. “I have determined that it is time to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel,” Trump said. “While previous presidents have made this a major campaign promise, they failed to deliver. Today, I am delivering.”
The decision was widely denounced in the Arab world and beyond. Saudi Arabia’s royal court called Trump’s announcement “irresponsible and unwarranted step. Many other Arab countries echoed a similar sentiment.
But Iranian leaders, as Bagheri’s remarks about “intifada” indicate, appear to be exploiting the situation to incite violence against Israel. Just hours after Trump’s speech, the Iranian Foreign Ministry also issued a statement that carried the same message. It said the “imprudent and provocative decision” by Washington will “fan the flames of a new intifada” against Israel. “It goes without saying that the U.S. and the Zionist regime are responsible for the upcoming results,” it warned.