"How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?" Revelation 6
Several articles (or introductions to articles) about the deal. (Latest at the top)
iran-provokes-the-world-as-obama-does-nothing Joel C Rosenberg
Part of a Washington Post editorial published on December 20 2015. The liberal editors of the Post go on to blast the Obama administration's "fecklessness" in wilfully "ignoring" Iran's blatant violations of the nuclear accord.
"Iran is following through on the nuclear deal it struck with a U.S.-led coalition in an utterly predictable way: It is racing to fulfill those parts of the accord that will allow it to collect $100 billion in frozen funds and end sanctions on its oil exports and banking system, while expanding its belligerent and illegal activities in other areas - and daring the West to respond. Unfortunately, the Obama administration's response to these provocations has also been familiar. It is doing its best to downplay them - and thereby encouraging Tehran to press for still-greater advantage."
Now a United Nations panel has determined that Iran test-fired a nuclear-capable missile on Oct. 10 with a range of at least 600 miles, in violation of a U.N. resolution that prohibits such launches. Moreover, it appears likely that a second missile launch occurred on Nov. 21, also in violation of Security Council Resolution 1929.
The U.S. response? "We are now actively considering the appropriate consequences to that launch in October," State Department official Stephen Mull testified at a Senate committee hearing Thursday. In other words, there have so far been none - other than a speech by the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations blaming the Security Council for the lack of action. As for the second missile launch, the administration claims to be investigating it, though it likely has in its possession the intelligence necessary to make a judgment.
It's not hard to guess the reasons for this fecklessness. President Obama is reluctant to do anything that might derail the nuclear deal before Iran carries out its commitments, including uninstalling thousands of centrifuges and diluting or removing tons of enriched uranium. The same logic prompted him to tolerate Iran's malign interventions in Syria, Yemen and elsewhere while the pact was under negotiation.
U.S. officials argue that Iran's non-nuclear violations make it all the more important that the nuclear deal be implemented. But that ignores the clear connections between the missile launches and Tehran's ambitions to become a nuclear power. The only practical military purpose of the missiles the regime is testing is to carry atomic warheads. And while missile launches are not prohibited by the nuclear pact itself, the separate resolution banning them remains in effect until the deal is implemented, after which a new resolution takes effect that calls on Iran not to develop such missiles for eight years.
By flouting the U.N. resolutions, Iran is clearly testing the will of the United States and its allies to enforce the overall regime limiting its nuclear ambitions. If there is no serious response, it will press the boundaries in other areas - such as the inspection regime. It will take maximum advantage of Mr. Obama's fear of undoing a legacy achievement, unless and until its bluff is called. That's why the administration would be wise to take firm action now in response to the missile tests rather than trying to sweep them under the carpet.
Secretary of State John Kerry has admitted a major flaw in the Iran nuclear deal which enables Iran to flout the weapons embargo without actually violating the nuclear deal.
In this video, when Kerry is asked whether the sanctions will snap back into place if Iran violates the weapons embargo, Kerry admits that the sanctions clause in the Iran deal not include those violations.
Kerry goes on to 'assure' us that the US has the means available to punish Iran, if and when Iran violates UN resolutions on weapons.
Does this truly give anyone comfort? What has been Iran's track record?
By Rivkah Lambert Adler July 28, 2015
Rabbi Nachman Kahana, author and Torah scholar who lives and works in the Old City of Jerusalem, recently published an article in which he proposes that the true, but largely unspoken agenda in the nuclear deal with Iran is the final destruction of Israel.
He writes, "Europe and the US have taken an evil and stupid risk in the hope that the Iranians and their satellites will finish for them what Hitler was unable to do."Kahana instructs his readers that anti-Israel Christians in the United States and Europe are the spiritual descendants of the Biblical Esau. Similarly, anti-Israel Muslims throughout the world are the spiritual descendants of Ishmael. He reviews how these two Biblical characters and their descendants have been the enemies of the Jewish people throughout history.
In his article, Kahana claims that, "The Christian nations of Europe and the United States have contrived together artfully, surreptitiously, cunningly, deviously, and manipulatively to elegantly rid the world of the Jewish State. This is the unarticulated, but fully understood, motive behind the deal made with the willing Iranians which will not appear in history books." Continues
In a related story, on July 26, Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee came under fire for tweeting this message in an attempt to get the Iran deal overturned by the United States Congress: "The Iran nuclear deal is marching the Israelis to the door of the oven."
By Owen Alterman
Last Tuesday, a 159-page PDF of the Iran nuclear agreement dropped into my inbox. Scrolling down to page 19, I checked out Paragraph 36. I suggest you do the same.
Plenty of provisions in the Vienna agreement will get attention in the coming weeks, but Paragraph 36 may be the most important of all. Paragraph 36 tells us when and how the agreement might end. Both friend and foe have touted this deal as "historic" and promised (or moaned) that its provisions will stay in place for the long term. But in practice, this is not a ten-year agreement or a fifteen-year agreement or an eternal agreement. Paragraph 36 tells us the truth: Any party - be it Iran or a future U.S. president - can essentially ditch the Iran nuclear deal with 35 days' notice.
Iran might need to wait a little longer - an extra 30 working days - to check a box buried in Annex IV. But, after that, under Paragraph 36, Iran can claim that any of the P5+1 is "not meeting its commitments" under the agreement. That triggers a 35-day set of meetings. Once that clock runs, Iran can claim the issue "has not been resolved to [its] satisfaction" and that it "deems" that the issue "constitutes significant non-performance." Iran can then "cease performing its commitments under this JCPOA in whole or in part." The agreement is done.
Once Iran has received its $150 billion and locked in long-term business contracts with the West, this quick exit could be an attractive option. So, too, could Iran bolt later on, removing the restrictions that remain after years ten and fifteen, or it could bolt under some scenario hard to foresee now. The Paragraph 36 exit ramp could also be attractive for a Republican running for the White House. On January 21, 2017, a new U.S. president could point to an Iranian breach and, on February 25, 2017, pull the United States out of the agreement. He could also have diplomats sit through the five weeks of meetings and then exit at some later date; Paragraph 36 sets no deadline.
by Gary C. Gambill
The National Interest
July 22, 2015
Originally published under the title, "Creepin': Here's How Iran Will Really Build the Bomb."
In assessing whether the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) signed by the P5+1 world powers and Iran last week is an adequate safeguard against the latter's pursuit of a nuclear weapon, Obama administration officials and arms control wonks typically discuss two heavily stylized breakout scenarios. In an overt breakout, Iran brushes aside nuclear inspectors and begins openly racing to enrich weapons grade uranium (WGU) using its two declared enrichment plants at Natanz and Fordow. The JCPOA ostensibly blocks this path by limiting the number of centrifuges Iran can operate to 5,060 and capping the amount of low-enriched uranium (LEU) it can keep on hand to use as feedstock at 300 kilograms. This supposedly lengthens its breakout time-how quickly it can produce sufficient fissile material for one atomic bomb should it make a rush to build one-from two or three months at present to at least a year, giving the international community more time to mobilize a response to the breakout.
In a covert breakout, or sneakout, Iran builds parallel infrastructure in secret to produce the fissile material for a bomb. The JCPOA ostensibly blocks this path with an inspections regime designed to detect the diversion of fissile material, the construction of illicit centrifuges, off-the-books uranium mining, and so forth.
Though much ink has been spilled about whether these two "paths" to the bomb have been blocked, both presuppose a decision by Iran to sacrifice its reconciliation with the world in the next ten to fifteen years for the immediate gratification of building a weapon (the purpose of a covert breakout is less to avoid detection before crossing the finish line than to make the process less vulnerable to decisive disruption).
Such an abrupt change of heart by the Iranian regime is certainly possible, but more worrisome is the prospect that Iran's nuclear policy after the agreement goes into effect will be much the same as it was before-comply with the letter and spirit of its obligations only to the degree necessary to ward off unacceptably costly consequences. This will likely take the form of what I call nuclear creepout-activities, both open and covert, legal and illicit, designed to negate JCPOA restrictions without triggering costly multilateral reprisals.
It is important to bear in mind that the JCPOA bars signatories from re-imposing any sanctions or their equivalents on Iran, except by way of a United Nations Security Council resolution restoring sanctions. "That means there will be no punishments for anything less than a capital crime," explains Robert Satloff. The language demanded by Iranian negotiators, and accepted by the Obama administration, makes small-scale cheating virtually unpunishable. Moreover, the specific terms of the JCPOA appear to have been designed to give the Iranians wide latitude to interpret their own obligations. Two, in particular, should raise eyebrows.
The LEU Cap About 1,000 kilograms of LEU is supposedly needed to produce, through further enrichment, enough weapons grade uranium for a nuclear explosive device (let's assume for sake of argument that that the Obama administration's erroneous math is correct). This is what inspectors call a "significant quantity" (SQ). The JCPOA's requirement that Iran "keep its uranium stockpile under 300 kilograms" would force it to enrich a substantial quantity of natural uranium all the way up to weapons grade, thereby lengthening the process of producing a SQ by several months.
But what exactly happens to LEU produced by Iranian centrifuges in excess of the 300-kilogram limit? The JCPOA appendix says it "will be down blended to natural uranium level or be sold on the international market and delivered to the international buyer." Maintenance of the 300 kilogram limit relies upon Iran continually and punctually reprocessing or transferring material it already possesses. What happens if Iran's handling of all this is less than perfect? Suppose 100 kilograms or so of LEU in the process of being down-blended or delivered to an "international buyer" of Iran's choosing routinely remains recoverable at any one time because of apparent inefficiencies and bottlenecks. Would the international community be willing to cancel the JCPOA over this infraction? Almost certainly not. What if this number swelled periodically to 150 or 200 kilograms every so often because of some special complication or another, like a breakout of plant machinery or truck drivers' strike? Probably not. Since an overt breakout attempt would likely commence at one of these peaks in LEU availability (and when smaller amounts of medium enriched uranium have yet to be converted or transferred), we can knock a month or so off its breakout time.
The Centrifuges Cap The Obama administration's one-year breakout time calculation assumes that Iran uses only the 5,060 IR-1 centrifuges it is allowed to have spinning under the JCPOA-and that it does not bring more into operation for a whole year after kicking out inspectors and beginning a sprint for a nuke. This could have been achieved by dismantling the large majority of its roughly 15,000 excess centrifuges falling outside this quota, but Iran insisted from the beginning that it would never destroy any of them and its adversaries eventually caved. Although U.S negotiators reportedly proposed a variety of disablement mechanisms designed to slow down the process of reconnecting them, all were rejected by the Iranians and the final agreement makes no mention of any. The JCPOA requires only that excess centrifuges and associated equipment at Natanz be disconnected and put into IAEA-monitored storage on-site. At the Fordow facility, buried deep underground, Iran is allowed to keep "no more than 1044 IR-1 centrifuge machines at one wing" installed, but not enriching uranium.
There is considerable disagreement among informed analysts about how long it would take the Iranians to get an appreciable number of these excess machines up and running, with estimates ranging from a few to several months. Whatever that length of time is, the Iranians can surely shorten it by training personnel to rapidly reactivate centrifuge cascades, modernizing equipment, acquiring new technology, and other methods not explicitly barred by the JCPOA.
Indeed, the JCPOA appears to have been drafted by diplomats who failed to imagine that the Iranians might seek to bolster their latent nuclear weapons capacity under the new rules of the game with as much guile and gusto as they did under the old. Considering that the Obama administration's one-year projected breakout time for Iran is deeply flawed to begin with, Iranian exploitation of these loopholes could bring it perilously close to the finish line even while remaining officially in compliance with the JCPOA. If the international community has less time to respond to a breakout attempt, an attempt presumably becomes more likely. But the real danger is that the mullahs will put off a breakout attempt in the next decade or so, while creeping out of their vaguely worded obligations. With so many opportunities to escape the strictures of the JCPOA, the mullahs would be fools not to offer the minimal degree of compliance necessary to keep it in force (while continually stretching the boundaries of how minimal that degree can be). Openly exploiting the JCPOA's loopholes while enjoying its rewards will do more to intimidate Iran's regional rivals than a reckless dash for the end zone or a high-risk covert attempt, while paving the way for eventual grudging international acquiescence to the Islamic Republic's construction of a bomb.
Gary C. Gambill is a research fellow at the Middle East Forum and former editor of Middle East Intelligence Bulletin.
Responding to a UN resolution approving the nuclear deal, Iran vowed to continue to improve its ballistics capabilities and that UN inspectors will not have access to missile facilities.
Iran appears to be already stepping back from its commitment in the nuclear agreement for transparency in the development of ballistic missiles. Its Foreign Ministry, the Defense Minister, and the commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps all objected to a UN Security Council resolution, which expressed approval of the nuclear deal, for not removing limits to Iran's ballistic missile program. They also indicated that they did not intend to grant IAEA nuclear inspectors access to conventional military sites.
The United Nations Security Council voted unanimously on Monday to endorse the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) deal regarding Iran's renegade nuclear program, starting a 90-day countdown until many of the economic and political sanctions designed to motivate Iran to abide by the agreement will likely be removed, pending a report by the International Atomic Energy Agency. The UNSC Resolution was submitted by US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Powers despite protests by US Senators from both parties requesting that the Obama Administration wait to submit it until after the US Congress had had a chance to review the deal. Israeli officials vowed to continue lobbying the US Congress to reject the deal while Mohammad Ali Jafari, commander of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, also voiced his rejection saying Iran had made too many concessions.
There is the video of Israeli Ambassador to the UN Ron Prosor's statement following the UNSC resolution
Israel reacted in anger Monday to a hidden detail in the Iran nuclear deal which promises Western support and training to protect Iranian nuclear facilities from attack or sabotage, Israeli media reported.
According to Israel Hayom, the commitment in Article 10 did not appear in draft versions of the agreement. Israel National News noted it was buried on page 142 of the 159-page agreement.
"The US has to protect Iran as it pursues nuclear weapons because its program is allegedly civilian?" one senior official in Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office fumed.
Iran's nuclear program, which the Islamic Republic claims is peaceful in nature but which most Western allies doubt, has been subject to several sabotage attempts in the past, some successful. The crippling Stuxnet virus cyber-attack in 2010 has been popularly attributed to either Israel or US President Barack Obama. Now, the P5+1 are promising to help Iran defend against such attacks.
Article 10 appears in a section titled "Reactors, Fuels, Facilities, and Processes," and stipulates that the P5+1 powers and Iran will foster "cooperation through training and workshops to strengthen Iran's ability to protect against, and respond to, nuclear security threats, including sabotage, as well as to enable effective and sustainable nuclear security and physical protection systems."
The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) yesterday unanimously approved the nuclear deal brokered last week. At the same time, Iran rejected Germany's call to recognise Israel and the country's defence minister appeared to renege on promises over international inspections.
The agreement between Iran and the P5+1 powers (US, UK, France, Russia, China and Germany) will likely see international sanctions lifted in return for a slowdown in Iranian nuclear development over the next decade. It was approved unanimously yesterday by the 15 members of the UNSC. However, US Ambassador to the UN, Samantha Power commented that Washington retains "profound concerns" over "the instability Iran fuels beyond its nuclear program, from its support for terrorist proxies to repeated threats against Israel."
Power's comment came as Iran rejected the contention of Germany's Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel, who said during a visit to Iran, that Berlin cannot accept Tehran's questioning Israel's right to exist. Iranian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Marziyeh Afkham said, "We have totally different views from Germany" on the issue and that, "We quite naturally have our own concerns and views on existing threats, including the Zionist regime's threats and the roots of the crises in the region." On Saturday, during a belligerent speech, Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei made clear that Tehran will continue to support terror groups such as Hezbollah, describing Israel as a "terrorist, baby-killer government."
Also yesterday, the semi-official Fars news agency in Iran reported that the country's Defence Minister Hossein Dehghan said, "Tehran will not allow any foreigner to discover Iran's defensive and missile capabilities by inspecting the country's military sites." This would appear to contradict the terms of last week's accord, which stipulate that the International Atomic Energy Agency can request access to any site if it has evidence of a possible violation. However, the deal specifies a complex 24-day process from request to inspection, a measure heavily criticised by opponents of the deal as unsatisfactory.
by Jonathan Spyer -
The Jerusalem Post
Originally published under the title, "Opening the Gates of Evil."
The response in the Arabic-speaking world to the conclusion of a deal between the P5+1 countries and the Islamic Republic of Iran over the latter's nuclear program has divided along familiar lines.
Among pro-Iranian elements, such as President Bashar Assad of Syria and Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah, the news of the deal has, predictably, been met with jubilation. Assad described the agreement as a "historic achievement" and a "great victory."
Sunni Arab concerns have focused less on the terms of the deal than on its strategic implications.
Among Sunni elements opposed to the advance of Iran, concerns have focused less on the nuclear elements of the deal - that is, whether it will effectively halt Iran's march toward the bomb. Instead, attention has centered on the deals implications for Irans push for hegemony in the Middle East, and its interference in and subversion of regional states as part of this effort.
by Gary C. Gambill
Foreign Policy Research Institute
Obama administration officials believe that a nuclear threshold detente will transform Iran into the kind of state one might trust to linger near the finish line of producing a bomb.
After two years of negotiations with Iran over the fate of its nuclear program, the Obama administration has unveiled an agreement abandoning the pursuit of a decisive reduction in the Islamic Republics breakout capacity - the ability to quickly and successfully produce a bomb - and lifting the economic sanctions that have hobbled its economy. The agreement not only sanctifies Teheran's retention of sufficient enrichment infrastructure to produce a bomb in a year or less, but also drops or dilutes a range of other longstanding demands, from closing a once-secret, heavily fortified underground enrichment facility to providing inspectors with a full accounting of its bomb-making research and development.
As the Obama administration and its supporters seek to rally domestic and international support for this historic compromise, listen for what can best be described as a Hyde-and-Jekyll defense.
The Obama administration has abandoned the pursuit of a decisive reduction in Iran's nuclear breakout capacity.
When discussing what will happen if the P5+1 world powers maintain their long-standing refusal to accept Iran's retention of proliferation-prone nuclear infrastructure, the administration has often depicted the Islamic Republic as a menacing force hell-bent on continuing its march toward the brink, whatever the consequences. Secretary of State John Kerry has suggested that Iran might "rush towards a nuclear weapon" if the talks collapse. Obama has characterized the alternative as "letting them rush towards a bomb." Outside of the administration, supporters of the pending nuclear agreement have typically offered more measured warnings that the Iranians could "take the lid off their program" and "rapidly ramp up their uranium enrichment." Most believe that war will be likely, if not unavoidable, if there is no agreement.
However, when speaking about what will happen if the P5+1 recognizes and validates Tehran's nuclear threshold status, the administration and its supporters have depicted the Islamic Republic as an eminently rational actor likely to abide by the letter and spirit of a prospective agreement.
It is always perilous to predict what future historians will say. But regarding the nuclear deal with Iran, it is likely historians will observe the remarkable fact that at the moment of its greatest weakness, Irans enemies suddenly reversed course. In the name of enticing it not to build nuclear weapons, they dismantled years of carefully built economic and political sanctions, saved its crumbling economy, and empowered the regime against its domestic and foreign enemies, including the West itself.
Doing so they accepted Iran's attacks and insults, left its nuclear enrichment program intact and under minimal supervision, guaranteed Iranian threats to neighboring countries and efforts to expand regional hegemony, and did nothing to help the Iranian people, who struggled under harsh repression. Whether it will have succeeded in preventing Iran from building a nuclear weapon is unlikely. What is certain is that a new period of instability will have been created - that period is already upon us.
Taking advantage of Iran's opening to the world is now a vital goal for Western intelligence.
It is an extraordinary moment in world history, perhaps a turning point, based, as many such moments are, on an extraordinary convergence of lies and self-delusions. But for those interested in the two goals of an Iran free of nuclear weapons and free of religious fascism, perhaps it is also a moment of opportunity. Iran is about to undergo a kind of opening to the world. Taking advantage of that is now a vital goal for Western intelligence and public diplomacy. It is the art of the making lemonade out of lemons.
by Daniel Pipes -
National Review Online
Barack Obama has repeatedly signalled during the past six and a half years that that his No. 1 priority in foreign affairs is not China, not Russia, not Mexico, but Iran. He wants to bring Iran in from the cold, to transform the Islamic Republic into just another normal member of the so-called international community, ending decades of its aggression and hostility.
In itself, this is a worthy goal; its always good policy to reduce the number of enemies. (It brings to mind Nixon going to China.) The problem lies, of course, in the execution.
The conduct of the Iran nuclear negotiations has been wretched, with the Obama administration inconsistent, capitulating, exaggerating, and even deceitful. It forcefully demanded certain terms, then soon after conceded these same terms. Secretary of State John Kerry implausibly announced that we have "absolutely knowledge" of what the Iranians have done until now in their nuclear program and therefore have no need for inspections to form a baseline. How can any adult, much less a high official, make such a statement?
The administration misled Americans about its own concessions: After the November 2013 Joint Plan of Action, it came out with a factsheet which Tehran said was inaccurate. Guess who was right? The Iranians. In brief, the U.S. government has shown itself deeply untrustworthy.
The agreement signed today ends the economic sanctions regime, permits the Iranians to hide much of their nuclear activities, lacks enforcement in case of Iranian deceit, and expires in slightly more than a decade. Two problems particularly stand out: The Iranian path to nuclear weapons has been eased and legitimated; Tehran will receive a "signing bonus" of some US$150 billion that greatly increases its abilities to aggress in the Middle East and beyond.
The United States alone, not to speak of the P5+1 countries as a whole, have vastly greater economic and military power than the Islamic Republic of Iran, making this one-sided concession ultimately a bafflement.
Of the administrations accumulated foreign-policy mistakes in the last six years, none have been catastrophic for the United States: Not the Chinese building islands, the Russians taking Crimea, or the collapse into civil wars of Libya, Yemen, Syria, and Iraq. But the Iran deal has the makings of a catastrophe.
Attention now shifts to the U.S. Congress to review today's accord, arguably the worst treaty not just in American history or modern history, but ever. Congress must reject this deal. Republican senators and representatives have shown themselves firm on this topic; will the Democrats rise to the occasion and provide the votes for a veto override? They need to feel the pressure.
Mr. Pipes (DanielPipes.org, @DanielPipes) is president of the Middle East Forum. © 2015 by Daniel Pipes. All rights reserved.
Does the proposed deal with Iran actually prevent the Mullahs from ever developing a nuclear weapon?
Or does it merely delay them for a period of years? That is the key question that has not yet been clearly answered.
In his statement on the deal, President Obama seemed to suggest that Iran will never be allowed to develop a nuclear weapon. He said that this "long-term deal with Iran will prevent it from obtaining a nuclear weapon." He then repeated this assurance: "because of this deal, the international community will be able to verify that the Islamic Republic of Iran will not be able to develop a nuclear weapon." These seemingly categorical statements were intended to assure the world that President Obama would keep his earlier promise that Iran will never be allowed to develop nuclear weapons.
But is that what the deal itself does? Or, as stated by its critics, does it actually assure that Iran will be allowed to develop a nuclear arsenal after a short delay of several years? That is the key question that the Obama administration has refused to answer directly. It must do so before Congress can be asked to buy a pig in a poke for the American people.
There is an enormous difference between a deal that merely delays Iran's development of a nuclear arsenal for a period of years and a deal that prevents Iran from ever developing a nuclear arsenal. Prime Minister Netanyahu of Israel and many other critics of this deal describe it as merely a delay, while the Obama administration seems to be suggesting by its rhetoric that the deal will prevent Iran from ever obtaining a nuclear weapon.
With the announcement of the Iranian nuclear deal, there's plenty of media coverage including Israel's reaction. BBC Newshour on BBC World Service radio interviewed Israel's Minister of Science, Technology and Space, Danny Danon.
Danon stated that Israel was "keeping all options on the table." The presenter asked Danon to explain. Her reaction is both shocking and disturbing (audio available on Honest Reporting page)
But you're not under threat by Iran. Nobody in Iran has threatened you for a very long time. You're harking back to a time when President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad threatened Israel directly.
Just what reality is the BBC presenter living in? Only a few days ago, on July 10, Iran observed "Al-Quds Day" as reported in The Times of Israel:
Millions of Iranians took part in anti-Israel and anti-US rallies across Iran on Friday, chanting "Down with America" and "Death to Israel" on Al-Quds Day, internationally observed annually on the last Friday of the month of Ramadan.
The controversial holiday was proclaimed in 1979 by Iran's Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini as a religious duty for all Muslims to rally in solidarity against Israel and for the "liberation" of Jerusalem. Tehran says the occasion is meant to express support for Palestinians and emphasize the importance of Jerusalem for Muslims.
Some protesters in Tehran burned Israeli and American flags. Posters showed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Saudi King Salman and US President Barack Obama in flames.
And only a few days before Al-Quds Day a prominent Iranian leader threatened Israel with destruction:
"The presence of the Israeli regime is temporary," Iranian Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani told the Hezbollah-linked Al Ahd news website. "Eventually one day this alien forged existence that has been forced into the body of an ancient nation and an historical region will be wiped off the map."
In November last year, Ayatollah Khameini tweeted why and how Israel should be eliminated:
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