Rouhani Receives Dignitaries Attending Palestine Confab
President Hassan Rouhani held separate meetings with top lawmakers from six Asian and African countries participating in the Sixth International Conference in Support of the Palestinian Intifada (Uprising) in Tehran on Wednesday.
The two-day conference, which is held every four years in a show of solidarity with the oppressed nation in the face of Israel occupation and atrocities, was attended by 80 foreign delegations, comprising government officials, heads of Muslim organizations, leaders of Palestinian groups and scholars.
It opened on Tuesday with a speech by the Leader of Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, in which he said if there was no resistance against Israel, Zionists would have encroached on other regional states too, listing Israel's withdrawal from south Lebanon in 2000 and from Gaza in 2005 as two major achievements of the resistance movement.
In his meeting with Chairman of the Palestinian National Council Salim Zanoun, Rouhani said the Islamic Republic believes the Palestine crisis is above all the problems facing the Muslim world, adding that the Tehran conference shows "the unbreakable will" of Iranians in supporting the Palestinian cause.
"The Iranian people have paid a huge cost for backing Palestinians and opposing the Zionist regime, but they will definitely continue their support," President.ir quoted Rouhani as saying.
The Iranian government's friendship with Israel was a major source of public discontent with the rule of US-backed monarchical regime that was toppled by the 1979 Islamic Revolution, and the country became a staunch supporter of Palestine after the revolution.
"A very difficult path lies ahead for Muslims to restore the rights of Palestine, but a nation that pursues jihad to defend its rights will prevail," he said.
Zanoun praised Iran's strong support for the Palestinian cause, adding that the conference is "quite encouraging and reassuring" for his compatriots.
"We need to stand by each other and not let anything sideline the key issue of confronting the Zionist regime's brutalities and liberating Palestine," he said.
Rouhani also met parliament speakers from Lebanon, Malaysia, Syria, Uganda and Jordan.
The president was set to make the conference's closing speech on Wednesday.
The gathering came amid reports that the US administration, a major supporter of Israel, is discussing the Palestine conflict with four Arab countries, namely Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan and the UAE, aiming to settle their differences with Israel and form a united front against Iran.