Iran Parliament Approves Draft on Jerusalem as Palestine’s Capital

Iranian lawmakers approved a double-urgency bill which recognizes al-Quds (Jerusalem) as the permanent capital of the state of Palestine, Fars News reports. The motion was passed by 187 votes in favor, 15 against and 9 abstentions from a total of 233 MPs present in an open session of the parliament on Sunday.

The measure will be annexed to Article 1 of a legislation that stipulates the Islamic Revolution’s support for the Palestinian nation. The plan has now been referred to the relative parliamentary commission and will be put on the parliament’s agenda within next 48 hours.

Should the bill be approved by the Iranian Parliament, Beit-ul Moqaddas, (Holy Quds), will be recognized as the eternal capital of the state of Palestine, IRNA reported.

Iran has long been a staunch supporter of the Palestinian cause and called on Muslims across the world to unite against the occupying regime of Israel which it does not recognize. On May 9, 1990, members of the third Iranian Parliament adopted the “Law on the Islamic Revolution’s Support of People of Palestine”. The Law tasks the Presiding Board of the Islamic Parliament of Iran to “deepen and broaden this support through different methods and convenes representatives of Muslim countries and pundits on appropriate occasions.”

U.S. President Donald Trump sparked global anger on December 6, when he declared that Washington would recognize al-Quds (Jerusalem) as the “capital” of Israel and move the American embassy from Tel Aviv to the holy city.

On Thursday, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution by a decisive vote of 128 to 9 to urge Trump to reverse his contentious decision. Israel lays claim to the whole al-Quds, but the international community views the ancient city’s Eastern sector (Eastern Jerusalem) as an occupied land and the Palestinians consider it their future capital.

An analysis on the Israeli daily, Haaretz said Trump’s failure to rally support at the United Nations for his decision amounted to a “gift to Iran”.

Iranian Supreme Leader’s top aide for international affairs Ali Akbar Velayati underlined that the vote in the United Nations General Assembly on the draft resolution on Jerusalem was a new disgrace and failure for the U.S.

“Despite threats and bribes, Trump did something that only a small number of small and unknown countries whose number was lower than the fingers of two hands opposed the UN resolution. The little prestige that the U.S. had was lost after the names of countries which opposed the UN resolution was announced and a new disrepute was created for the Americans,” Velayati was quoted as saying by the Iranian media on Monday.

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), in a statement issued following an extraordinary summit in Turkey’s Istanbul, declared East Jerusalem the capital of Palestine “under occupation” and urged the U.S. to withdraw from the peace process and back down from its Jerusalem decision.

The UN vote on December 21, in which a resounding majority of member states declared Trump’s move to be null and void, constituted “a worldwide vote of no confidence” in the U.S. president, “from which Israel will suffer the next time it seeks to draft the international community to some joint effort against Iran or any other enemy,” stated the analysis, published on the weekend.

“Hostility between the European Union, Russia and China and the United States regarding the sanctions and fear over a major breach in the nuclear agreement also impacted the vote on Jerusalem’s status, generating negative momentum in which any new American proposal on Iran could encounter international opposition just by the fact that it was Trump who proposed it, and that’s the danger to Israel. From Iran’s perspective (and that of the Arab countries), there could be no happier outcome, despite the vote’s declarative and non-binding nature,” the Haaretz article stated.