Qalibaf calls Israel the greatest terrorist

August 8, 2021 - 21:48

TEHRAN — Parliament speaker Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf on Sunday highlighted that Iran rejects any terrorist act, calling the Zionist regime of Israel as the biggest terrorist in the world.

In response to a question about the G7 statement blaming Iran for the suspicious attack on an Israeli-operated tanker in the Gulf of Oman, the top parliamentarian said, “We have always stated that we are against any illegal action and any terrorist move, but now those who have trained Daesh (ISIL) and terrorists and have even supported it, take such approaches.”

He added that once in a while there are news about problems created for the ships in the Red Sea. 

“If there is a terrorist, the Zionist regime is at the top,” Qalibaf underlined on the sidelines of an open session of the parliament. 

“We always follow the rules and regulations and we always seek the security of international sea routes and transfer of energy. Those who have a terrorist view take these positions,” he added. 

On August 6, the G7 issued a statement calling the incident for the Mercer ship “a targeted and deliberate attack,” pointing fingers towards Iran. 

Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh issued a statement on Saturday stating that attributing suspected attack on the Israeli-operated oil tanker to Iran are “baseless scenarios” designed to complicate the atmosphere.

"We condemn the baseless statement of the G7 foreign ministers and the European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs, which is full of baseless allegations against the Islamic Republic of Iran,” Khatibzadeh said in response to the statement of the G7 foreign ministers. 

The spokesman added that the Mercer ship incident occurred just a few days before the inauguration of the new Iranian president, which is a manifestation of the democratic transfer of power in Iran.

"Such baseless scenarios, which are often the work of the Zionist regime from behind the scenes, are designed to confuse the atmosphere,” he added. 

According to the spokesman, these allegations have customers among those who are immediately ready for unrealistic and irrational conclusions. 

“In fact, for the experts and those familiar with the history of this region, the planning of such conspiracies by the Zionist regime at different times is not new,” he added. 

The Israeli-operated ship Mercer Street was suspiciously attacked off the coast of Oman on July 29 while traveling from Dar es Salaam in Tanzania to the United Arab Emirates port of Fujairah. Two crewmen, a British and Romanian national, died in the attack.

Iran’s ambassador to the UN has said the United Nations Security Council must reject deceptions and fabrications by Israel.

“Today, Israel and its supporters presented fake information on recent incidents in regional waters to convince UNSC to censure Iran and failed,” Majid Takht Ravanchi tweeted on Friday.

“We strongly reject these allegations. The UN Security Council must confront Israel's adventurism in the region and reject its deceptions and fabrications” he added.

The suspicious attack on the ship has led to wild speculations ranging from an Israeli “retaliatory” strike inside Iran to derailment of the already faltering nuclear talks between Iran and the West in Vienna. 

Zahra Ershadi, ambassador and charge d’affaires ad interim of the Permanent Mission of Iran to the UN, has also censured Israel for playing victim to divert the attention of the public away from its crimes in the region. 

“We just heard a distorted statement about the Mercer Street vessel incident. Let me say a few words about it. First, our thoughts are with the families of those who have lost their loved ones in that unfortunate incident. Immediately following this event, Israeli officials accused Iran of the incident. This is what they usually do. It is a standard practice of the Israeli regime. Its aim is to divert the attention of the world public opinion from the regime’s crimes and inhumane practices in the region,” she stated. 

She added, “To that end, they accuse others of wrongdoing. In almost all incidents in the Middle East, Israel accuses Iran. They do it immediately and provide no evidence.”

Iran has called the claims against Iran a false flag operation intended to demonize Tehran.  

“Playing victim, lying and deception are part of their toolbox,” Ershadi said, noting, “Israel’s hue and cry on the Mercer Street incident is aimed, in particular, at hiding its terrorist acts against commercial navigation. Only in less than two years, this regime has attacked over 10 commercial vessels in regional seas. On 17 January 2021, the Syrian Prime Minister stated that 7 oil tankers en route to Syria were attacked. Israel was behind these incidents that caused serious fuel shortage in Syria. On 11 March 2021, mainstream media outlets reported that Israel targeted at least a dozen vessels bound for Syria, mostly carrying oil.”

The Iranian diplomat went on to enumerate Israel’s malign activities against Iran and beyond. 

Also, Iran’s ambassador to Paris on Friday rejected as “delusional” accusations against Tehran.

Qassemi emphasized that Iran - as the country that has the most coastline with the Persian Gulf and the Sea of Oman and enjoys several thousand years of civilization - has always made great efforts throughout its history to strengthen regional peace and stability and protect security of the Persian Gulf and freedom of navigation.

“Peace, stability, freedom of navigation, and the safeguarding of strategic waterways in the Persian Gulf and the Sea of Oman, and even in other parts of the world, are an undeniable principle and necessity for Iran,” he added.

The Iranian envoy also warned that Tel Aviv and its partners are trying to disrupt Washington’s new policy on a political settlement of Iran’s nuclear issue.  

“Enraged by possible continuation and progress of the diplomatic process and negotiations as well as new approaches in the U.S. government on the resolution of issues ahead through political channels, the occupying extremists and their allies are doing their best to undermine this process, and in their evil path, they are using every trick to create an unconstructive and destructive atmosphere for warmongering,” he said.

“Relying on false and baseless accusations and fabricated scenarios by third parties is like planting mines in the path of rationality and disrupting diplomatic trends.... Their recent adventures in the Mercer Street incident will be neither their first conspiracy nor their last anti-Iran measure. Iran will pass through such warmongering multi-purpose traps more vigilantly than ever.”

Qassemi further stressed that Iran strongly condemns any destabilizing act or conspiracy that targets the freedom of navigation and transportation in the sensitive region.

Abir Bassam, a leading Lebanese commentator, says the history of Israel is full of evidence that shows its criminality against its own people and others. 

“Anything is justified for the sake of getting more sympathy and support from its operators, mainly Britain and the United States, who take turns in playing this role,” she notes.

SA/PA

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