First Published: 2006-07-31

 
Top Iran general hopes to avenge Muslim deaths
 

’I ask God to arouse the dignity of Muslims and destroy America, Israel and their associates,’ says General Safavi.

 

Middle East Online

Strong statement

TEHRAN - The head of Iran's Revolutionary Guards said Sunday he hoped the Islamic republic could one day "avenge the blood of innocent people in Palestine, Lebanon, Iraq and Afghanistan".

"We have to keep this sacred hatred of the enemies of Islam alive in our hearts until the time of revenge comes," General Yahya Rahim Safavi was quoted as saying by the semi-official Fars news agency.

"I hope our nation can one day avenge the blood of innocent people in Palestine, Lebanon, Iraq and Afghanistan," he said, adding: "I ask God to arouse the dignity of Muslims and destroy America, Israel and their associates."

His comments came the day of an Israeli strike that killed 52 people - more than half of them children - in the village of Qana, the deadliest attack in its near three-week offensive against Lebanon.

"I ask God that the crimes and atrocities of Zionists hasten the annihilation of this regime. Hezbollah and Lebanese people are invincible and this cancerous tumor... should die," he added, calling on "clerical leaders in the Islamic world (to) clarify the duty of Muslims against Israel."

The Revolutionary Guards Corps was set up in the wake of the 1979 revolution to defend the Islamic republic from "internal and external threats" and played a leading role in the 1980-88 war with Iraq. It is believed to number several hundred thousand troops.

The force is now one of Iran's most powerful institutions, and under direct command of the supreme leader.

Since Israel launched its war on Hezbollah on July 12, Tehran has stepped up its war of words with its arch-enemy.

Shiite Muslim-dominated Iran is also Hezbollah's main international supporter, although the Islamic republic insists it only provides "moral support" to the movement.

Other Iranian officials meanwhile called for US and Israeli leaders to be prosecuted for "crimes against humanity".

"The United States and the supporters of the Zionist regime are undoubtedly responsible for this savage terrorist catastrophe," Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said of the Qana strike.

"The UN Security Council must stop the Zionists' crimes in Palestine and Lebanon, and put them on trial immediately for crimes against humanity," the ISNA news agency quoted him saying.

The United States, he argued, had effectively given "the green light" for the attack during an international conference in Rome on the Lebanon conflict on Wednesday.

"Zionist regime officials as well as some US statesmen should be put on trial," foreign ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi also told reporters.

But he meanwhile repeated Iran's denial of allegations it is financing and arming Hezbollah.

"We have not and will not send forces to Lebanon," Asefi said. "We have not provided the Lebanese resistance with arms. We are very transparent: our aid is political and humanitarian."

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad meanwhile fumed that it was "clear that international organisations have become a tool in the hand of domineering powers" -- in a fresh attack against the UN Security Council.

Iran is under mounting Security Council pressure, with the world body poised to pass a resolution demanding that Tehran suspend its controversial nuclear programme and threatening possible sanctions if it refuses.

"Britain, the planner of this sinister regime, and the US, the unconditional supporter of this regime, are both responsible," Ahmadinejad said of Western support for the "fake, illegitimate and usurper" state of Israel.

 

‘Intense awareness of interests’ but no ‘perfect agreement between Egypt and US

UAE prosecutor refers 41 people to trial on terrorism charges

'PKK suicide attack' kills two soldiers in eastern Turkey

Israel faces mounting pressure after baby killing in arson attack

Iraq TV comedian combats jihadists with laughs

Kerry to Middle East allies: Iran deal will make region safer

Egypt court again postpones verdict in retrial of Jazeera reporters

Al-Nusra Front releases video to show ‘capture’ of US-trained rebels

Egypt court postpones verdict on brother of Ayman al-Zawahiri

Immigration surpasses economy as major concern in Europe

Plane crash kills family members of Bin Laden

Iraq protesters vent anger over poor services

ISIS flexes muscles in eastern Libya

Syria army pushes back rebels near Latakia province

Arbil urges PKK to move out of Iraq Kurdistan

Yemen government returns to Aden with eyes set on Sanaa

Erdogan calls for early elections if no coalition

Palestinian baby killed in arson attack by Jewish settlers

Kurds in Diyarbakir fear return to war

State of emergency in Tunisia extended

Jerusalem Gay Pride attack suspect lashes out in court

'Kurdish Obama' faces his biggest test

Yemen blockade 'killing' as many civilians as war

EU urges Israel to show 'zero tolerance for settler violence'

Cash-strapped Tunisia's Syphax airline grounds flights

Pentagon denies US-trained rebels captured in Syria

Morocco king calls for development of remote regions

Host of US celebrities endorses Iran nuclear deal

PKK braces for fight with Turkey in Iraq mountain bastions

Kurdish party chief dismisses Turkey anti-IS raids

Thomas Cook warns Tunisia attacks affect annual results

Three Al-Jazeera journalists await Egypt retrial verdict

Kuwait uncovers new IS cell

One Turkish police killed in attack blamed on PKK

Israel approves law allowing force feeding of prisoners

New sexist gaffe of Turkish deputy PM: 'As a woman, be quiet!

UN envoy invites Syrians to ‘thematic’ talks

Egypt's gift to the world: Suez Canal Axis

Pentagon to worried lawmakers: We will remain vigilant on Iran

Hamas calls for revolt against Palestinian Authority

ISIS claims deadly car bomb in Yemen capital

Allies tolerate Turkey's double game to boost IS fight

Somalia ‘making progress’ despite insecurity and election delay

Germany, Iraqi Kurds say Turkey should resume peace process

Syria skeptical about Turkey's intentions in fight against ISIS