In a message to Hajj pilgrims on September 23, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei condemned Israel and berated the United States.
Khamenei said that Israeli activities at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem were an “insult” to the holy site and one of the “foremost” problems for Muslims.
Recently, there have been a series of violent skirmishes at the Temple Mount, which is the holiest site in Jerusalem and the third holiest site in Islam. On September 19, Israeli forces found pipe bombs and other weaponry at the Temple Mount, where they said that their intervention helped to stop a planned attack. Palestinian officials claim that Israel is allowing more Jewish visitors and plans to allow Jewish prayer at the Temple Mount, which Israel denies.
Khamenei accused Israel of “trampling the lives and properties of the oppressed Palestinians.”
According to Iran’s Fars news agency, Khamenei said that the United States’ evil policies” in the Middle East “have resulted in war, bloodshed, destruction and displacement as well as poverty, backwardness and sectarian and religious rifts.”
Khamenei said that since Muslims are facing these problems, they should “should think and understand your divine responsibility.”
Khamenei’s warmongering message comes after a stream of malicious rhetoric on September 22 by several Iranian military chiefs.
Iran’s chief of staff mocked US Republican opposition to the recent US-supported nuclear agreement, and claimed that the US and Israel are sponsoring terrorism, while another Iranian military chief mocked that Tehran had frightened the US into forgoing the idea of using military force in the Middle East.
The anti-US statements came as Iran hosted a military parade outside Tehran to showcase weapons including surface-to-surface missiles like the solid-fuel Sejjil and the liquid-fuel Ghadr, both of which have a range of 2,000 kilometers, or 1,250 miles. Iran also displayed at the annual parade the Russian-made S-200 and Tor-M1 surface-to-air missile systems that are primarily designed to track, target, and destroy aircraft and cruise missiles.