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.

 

Turkey, US agree to ‘work together’ in Syria

Fears of expanding Syrian war could trigger peace deal

Six suffer breathing difficulties after Turkish shelling in Afrin

Thousands protest corruption in Tel Aviv amid PM indictment call

Syrians crammed in shared flats in Afrin

Russian mercenaries - a discrete weapon in Syria

Iran protests ban on wrestler who threw bout to avoid Israel

Battle to free Mosul of IS 'intellectual terrorism'

Turkey frees Garman-Turk journalist after one year without charge

Turkey hands life sentences to 3 journalists for Gulen links

Prominent jihadist commander killed by rival Syria rebels

300 Russians killed in Syria battle last week

Tillerson, Erdogan have ‘productive, open’ talk

Iran raises rates, freezes accounts in bid to shore up rial

Kremlin says five Russians killed in US Syria strikes

Oman FM in rare visit by Arab official to Jerusalem

Senior IS leader extradited to Iraq from Turkey

Strikes hit another hospital in Syria's Idlib

Churches snub Jerusalem reception over tax dispute with Israeli authorities

Tillerson says US never gave 'heavy arms' to Kurdish YPG

Captured foreign IS suspects claim innocence

Yemeni mother awaits death penalty for spying for UAE

Fuel shortage shuts down Gaza's only power plant

Morocco arrests three suspected IS terrorists

Family of dead environmentalist in Iran threatened

Israel hands life sentence to Palestinian for triple murder

US appeals to Turkey to concentrate on fighting IS

Turkey sets up new 'observation point' in Syria's Idlib

Malaysia rejects criticism over Israeli visit

Tillerson in Ankara to ease Turkey tensions

Egypt arrests ex-presidential candidate

Tillerson: Hezbollah is part of Lebanon's 'political process'

Netanyahu says government ‘stable’ despite police recommending indictment

Corruption accusations facing Netanyahu

Syria denies ‘unacceptable’ chemical weapons use

Nations pledge nearly $25 billion toward Iraq's reconstruction

Egypt remands in custody former anti-corruption chief

Turkish PM 'hopes' German journalist is freed soon

US agrees to send $1 billion in annual aid to Jordan

Iran arrests money changers amid rial collapse

Saudi Arabia seeks to further reduce oil stockpiles

Turkey imposes curfews in Kurdish-majority province

Tillerson urges allies to focus on fighting IS

France threatens Syria strikes if chemical attacks proven

Tillerson says enduring IS defeat not yet achieved