Iran Votes to Declare Jerusalem ‘Everlasting Capital of Palestine’

Iran’s lawmakers on Wednesday passed a motion with a double urgency status, obliging the country’s administration to recognize al-Quds (Jerusalem) as “the everlasting capital of Palestine”, Tasnim News reports. The generalities of the motion were approved with 198 votes in favor and one abstention. The details of the motion were also passed with 207 votes in favor and without any opposition vote.

During an open session of the parliament on Wednesday morning, the MPs ratified the motion to add a note to the article one of the acts on supporting the Islamic revolution of the Palestinian people indicating that Tehran will recognize Quds as “the everlasting capital of Palestine”.

The vote “comes in response to the recent U.S. decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in hopes of dealing a blow to Muslims,” the Turkish Anadolu news agency quoted speaker Ali Larijani as saying.

“It comes in response to the recent U.S. decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in hopes of dealing a blow to Muslims,” he said.

Iran has long been a fierce proponent of a future Palestinian state. Iran cut relations with Israel, which unified the city under its control after capturing east Jerusalem in the 1967 Six-Day War.

In a move that delighted much of Israel’s leadership but ignited protests across the Muslim world, U.S. President Donald Trump announced on December 6 that the US recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and planned to move its embassy there from Tel Aviv. Trump stressed that he was not specifying the boundaries of Israeli sovereignty in the city, and called for no change in the status quo at the city’s holy sites. Trump’s declaration has been condemned by the Islamic Republic, which is committed to Israel’s destruction.

Earlier this week, Hamas’s leader in the Gaza Strip, Yahya Sinwar, said that a senior Iranian military commander pledged all of the Islamic Republic’s military resources to help the Gaza-based terror group fight Israel over Jerusalem.

“All our of capabilities and potential are at your disposal in the battle for the defense of Jerusalem,” Sinwar said that Qassem Soleimani, the commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps’ elite Quds Force, told him over the phone.

According to Sinwar, Soleimani asserted that “Iran, the Revolutionary Guards, and Quds Force stand with all they have with our people in order to defend Jerusalem so that Jerusalem will endure as the capital of the state of Palestine.”

The Palestinians seek East Jerusalem as the capital of any future state. It is the location of Haram al-Sharif, or Noble Sanctuary, for Muslims, and is the third-holiest site in Islam. It is a place contested by both Muslims and Jews, who refer to it as the Temple Mount, one of the holiest sites in Judaism.

Trump angered Arab leaders from Jordan to Iraq with his Jerusalem announcement, ignoring their warnings that acknowledging Jerusalem as the capital of Israel would set off a wave of anger across the Muslim world. The Palestinian militant group Hamas, which Iran backs, has called for a new Palestinian intifada, or uprising. Saudi Arabia’s King Salman and Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim met on Wednesday and discussed the status of Jerusalem and their support of the Palestinians.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed last week that his country would open an embassy in eastern Jerusalem, after a coalition of Islamic states recognized portions of the Israeli capital city as the capital of a Palestinian state.

“We have already declared East Jerusalem as the capital of the Palestinian state but we haven’t been able to open our embassy there because Jerusalem is currently under occupation,” Erdogan said, adding, “God willing we will open our embassy there.”

Earlier this week, Malaysia’s Deputy Prime Minister announced that his country plans to follow in Turkey’s footsteps and open an embassy in eastern Jerusalem to recognize the city as the capital of “Palestine”.

Last week, an overwhelming majority of countries voted against the U.S. in passing a nonbinding resolution at the United Nations that declared Trump’s Jerusalem decision “null and void.” Thirty-five nations abstained from the vote.

The final tally, 128-9 in favor of passing the resolution, added pressure on the White House to retreat from its decision, and it served as a stinging rebuke of the Trump administration.