EghtesadOnline: Leader of Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has called on Muslim nations to unite in defending Palestine, while slamming Arab support for the United States’ Middle East peace plan as a "betrayal" of the Muslim world.
"Muslim countries should stand against the criminal presence of the occupying enemy in Palestine rather than aligning against each other," the Leader said during a meeting with Iranian officials and ambassadors of Muslim countries in Tehran on Wednesday, his website reported.
Ayatollah Khamenei said ill-wishers are seeking to sow seeds of discord among Muslims and called out Arab governments cooperating with the US and Israel.
“The Palestinian-Israeli conflict is the central issue of the Muslim world. The Islamic Republic has been defending the rights of the Palestinian nation since the outset, has stood against world arrogant powers [referring to the United States and its Mideast allies] and will continue its resistance,” Financial Tribune quoted him as saying.
He also noted that the Palestinian nation should continue their fight against Israel at all levels until the Zionist regime gives in to their will and declared that a referendum is the best solution.
The Leader repeated Iran's proposal of holding a referendum with the participation of "Muslim, Christian and Jewish residents of Palestine as well as Palestinian refugees" on the system of government and said the Palestinians will be the ultimate winner in this decades-old confrontation.
Act of Betrayal
Earlier in the day, Ayatollah Khamenei accused Saudi Arabia and Bahrain of enabling American plans, particularly the peace proposal that US President Donald Trump has touted as the "deal of the century".
"The betrayal by some Muslim countries such as Bahrain and Saudi Arabia has paved the way for the introduction of such a vicious plan," he said during prayer sermons on the occasion of Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan.
Washington is gearing up to outline economic aspects of its long-awaited proposal for peace between Israel and Palestine at a conference in Bahrain later this month, according to Aljazeera.
The peace plan, fronted by Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner, has already been rejected by the Palestinians, who say the White House's policies are blatantly biased in favor of Israel.
US allies Saudi Arabia and the UAE are set to attend the Bahrain conference on June 25-26.
Palestinians have cut off all contacts with the Trump administration since the president broke with decades of bipartisan policy to recognize Beit-ul-Moqaddas as the capital of Israel in December 2017.
"This conference belongs to the Americans, but Bahraini rulers are hosting it due to their weakness and anti-Muslim and anti-popular stand," Ayatollah Khamenei said. "Bahrain and Saudi leaders should realize what a quagmire they are stepping into."
He added that the plan will definitely fail and praised Arab countries and Palestinian groups that have refused to back the US proposal.
Speaking at a ceremony marking the 30th anniversary of the demise of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the founder of the Islamic Republic, on Tuesday, the Leader said Tehran will not abandon its missile program and will not fall for US "political tricks".
Iran and the United States have been drawn into starker confrontation in the past month, a year after Washington pulled out of a deal between Iran and global powers to curb Tehran's nuclear program in return for lifting international sanctions.
Trump said recently that Iran "has a chance to be a great country, with the same leadership. We're not looking for regime change," according to Reuters.
But the leader said Iran remains vigilant in the face of US malicious attempts, adding that the enemy's plan to deprive the country of its missile capabilities will not succeed.