Leader decries normalization between Israel, Arab states

June 8, 2022 - 20:40

TEHRAN – Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei has touched on the issue of normalization of ties between Israel and some Arab states, underlining that establishing relations with Israel will be of no advantage to them.

After a two-year shutdown of the Hajj pilgrimage due to the coronavirus pandemic, Iranian Hajj pilgrims are expected to set off their religious journey to Saudi Arabia to perform Hajj, an annual Islamic ritual featuring Muslims from around the world descending on the holy Saudi city of Mecca.

Prior to the Iranian Hajj pilgrims starting their journey to perform the 2022 Hajj pilgrimage, Ayatollah Khamenei met with a number of officials in charge of conducting Hajj. He addressed a number of issues pertaining to Hajj and its rituals as well as international relations. 

The Leader expressed satisfaction with the easing of corona-related restrictions on performing Hajj. “This was great news that after 2 years, God reopened the door for Hajj. This is a divine invitation opening the way to the Hajj pilgrims. This is not a favor from anyone; it is God’s acceptance of the respected pilgrims and your enthusiasm. God willing, you will have a good Hajj,” he said, according to a readout put out by the khamenei.ir.  

Ayatollah Khamenei described Hajj as a way of strengthening coexistence. “What are mankind’s problems in the world now? That they don’t know how to coexist, and they act aggressively toward each other. Hajj teaches coexistence. In Hajj people who don’t know each other and who are coming from different cultures coexist in peace,” he said, adding, “Much of the world’s miseries and problems are the result of aristocratic lifestyles and luxurious living. A great part of the world’s wealth is being spent on such things everywhere. Hajj teaches you to have a simple lifestyle.”

The Leader also pointed out the issue of normalization of ties between Israel and some Arab states. 

In August 2020, the United Arab Emirates took the controversial step of normalizing diplomatic relations with Israel, the first move of its kind in decades. Bahrain, Morocco, and Sudan followed suit in a matter of weeks, setting off a trend of normalization that was widely decried by regional public opinion and Iran.

The Leader called Zionism a “plague” for the Muslim world, underlining the need for the Hajj pilgrims to expose “Zionists’ conspiracies and plots.”

“Today, Zionism is an obvious plague for the world of Islam. The Zionists have always been a plague, even before establishing the fraudulent Zionist regime. Even then, Zionist capitalists were a plague for the whole world. Now they’re a plague especially for the world of Islam,” Ayatollah Khamenei said. “The plague of Zionism should be exposed, in any way you can. These Arab and non-Arab states that shook hands, kissed and held meetings with the Zionists won’t benefit from what they did at all, not at all. This will only be to their loss.”

He noted, “Muslim nations oppose the normalization of relations with the Zionists, clench their fists and shout slogans against states seeking normalization. The Zionist regime exploits these states. They don’t realize it, but we hope they realize it before it’s too late.”

The remarks come against a backdrop of renewed Israeli efforts to accelerate the normalization of ties with Saudi Arabia. Western media has recently reported that Israeli and Saudi officials have held meetings to discuss the normalization of ties, a claim that Saudi Arabia neither confirmed nor rejected. 

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