Iran’s Supreme Leader: ‘Exposing the Zionists’ Plots’ Is an Essential Duty of Hajj Pilgrims
“Exposing the Zionists’ plots and conspiracies is one of the essential duties in hajj,” Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Wednesday while addressing Iranian officials who organize the hajj pilgrimage to the Muslim holy city of Mecca, according to the Iranian Fars news agency. Khamenei also lambasted the normalization of relations between Israel and several Arab countries, including the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco, and Sudan, as well as a number of non-Arab ones, such as Kosovo and Bhutan. “The Arab and non-Arab governments that moved toward normalizing their relations with the Zionist regime, against the will of their nations and for the will of the United States, must know that these interactions will bring them nothing but exploitation at the hands of the Zionist regime,” he said, referring to Israel.
Saudi Arabia, where Mecca is located, does not have diplomatic relations with Israel. But its de facto leader, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, sees Israel as a strategic partner in the fight against the regional influence of Saudi adversary Iran, and the Abraham Accords normalization agreements could not have gone forward without Saudi Arabia’s tacit approval.
The Iranian supreme leader launched into a tirade against Jews, Israel, and Arab states that have relations with Jerusalem, after praising the decision to resume the hajj in light of the worldwide reduction in COVID-19 cases.
“Zionism is an obvious plague for the world of Islam. The Zionists have always been a plague, even before establishing the fraudulent Zionist regime,” Khamenei wrote. “Even then, Zionist capitalists were a plague for the whole world. Now they’re a plague especially for the world of Islam.”
Deborah Lipstadt, the US special envoy for antisemitism, said Khamenei’s comments were “unacceptable.”
“Let us make no mistake, the use of ‘Zionist’ here is nothing but a foil for ‘Jewish,’” she said. “This vile, antisemitic rhetoric is not only disturbing but deeply problematic. No government should tolerate, let alone espouse, these hateful and dangerous views.”