Accessibility links

Breaking News

Iran Prepared To Defeat 'Deal Of Century', Qods Force Commander Tells Gaza Leaders

Hamas leader Ismail Haniya speaks during the funeral prayer over the coffins of Iranian Major-General Qassem Soleimani, head of the Qods Force, who was killed in an air strike at Baghdad airport, in Tehran. January 6, 2020

The new commander of Iran's Qods Force has told HAMAS and Islamic Jihad leaders that "The Islamic Republic is prepared to defeat President Donald Trump’s latest proposal to solve the Israeli-Palestinian issue, Iranian agencies reported on Sunday February 2.

"Iran is prepared to stand alongside the Palestinian nation and particularly resistance forces to confront the threats caused by the Deal of the Century," General Esmail Qaani has said in a phone conversation with Islamic Jihad leader Ziad Nakhale and HAMAS leader Ismail Haniyeh Saturday evening.

Qaani replaced Qods Force's former commander Qassem Soleimani after he was killed in a U.S. drone attack in Baghdad in early January.

Semi-official news agency ISNA says that the two Palestinian leaders welcomed Iran's stance against the Deal of the Century. However, Qaani did not elaborate on how Iran is going to confront Trump's initiative.

Haniyeh and Nakhale met Qaani last month during their visit to Iran to take part in Soleimani's funeral. However, the Saturday night conversation over the phone was the first reported official contact with Palestinian leaders by a high-ranking Iranian military officer after the declaration of the Deal of the Century.

President Trump who has been working during the past three years on a plan to end the Israel-Palestinian conflict, took part at a meeting at the White House also attended by Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu on January 28 to introduce the new deal.

Trump called the Deal of the Century "an excellent opportunity" and a "historical occasion" for the Palestinians and hoped that they would accept the deal and begin to establish their own independent country.

However, the Islamic Republic does not recognize the state of Israel, insists that it is an illegitimate entity and says the deal is doomed to fail. Top officials harshly rejected Trump’s deal from the beginning and tried to turn the issue into an all-Islamic rallying point against the United States.

The Revolutionary Guard or IRGC has called it "a big satanic conspiracy" by the United States adding that it would be "ditched in the trash can of history."

The statement issued by the IRGC on the occasion says Tehran is "prepared to play the necessary part in the region's new situation" and has called on all Islamic states and particularly their armed forces to "make a big decision and stand against the conspiracy of the Deal of the Century."

According to the IRGC, Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei's idea of holding a referendum in the Palestinian territory" is the only practical solution to the problem of Palestine.

Meanwhile, Chief of the Joint Staff of the Iranian armed forces Hassan Baqeri warned Islamic states against the consequences of their "silence against this oppressive deal."

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani who had said one day after Trump announced the deal that it was "the most hated plan of the century," added during a visit to Khomeyni's tomb on Sunday that it is "a disgusting and shameful plot against all Muslims and freedom-lovers of the world."

In another development, Khamenei's adviser for international affairs, Ali Akbar Velayati said on January 30 that "Trump's dream will end up in a nightmare."

Elsewhere, during a meeting with Ismail Haniyeh on Saturday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan harshly criticized the new peace plan for the Middle east. Erdogan had said on Friday that "Jerusalem will never be given to a terrorist state. Jerusalem is Turkey's red line and Turkey will never come to terms with the Deal of the Century."

He also told Mahmoud Abbas during a phone conversation on Friday that "Saudi Arabia, Oman and Bahrain's silence was a treason against humanity."

In spite of the remarks, Turkey maintains full diplomatic relations with Israel.

In a reaction to the announcement of the Deal of the Century, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas severed all relations with Israel and the United States, while announcing that Israel must accept its responsibility as an occupier.

Turkish TV, TRT, announced that "Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas says all relations, including security ties, are being cut with both countries, as Arab League rejects Trump's 'deal of the century' plan."

Abbas said on Saturday that he has notified U.S. and Israeli governments of his decision.

Earlier, the Arab League rejected the Deal of the Century and while warning Israel against the consequences of the "unilateral plan," announced that it will not cooperate with the United States in implementing this plan.

Meanwhile, former U.S. Diplomat Jason Greenblatt who has worked with Trump's adviser Jerad Kushner on the Deal of the Century said: "President Abbas is rejecting a plan that can bring about a brilliant future for Palestine."