Iran has declared Jerusalem the “unchangeable” capital of Palestine and has vowed to confront any attempt to change its status.
Speaking in Tehran on Wednesday, Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi said the city would remain the Palestinian capital forever, Iran’s Fars News Agency reported.
The comments came nearly two months after US President Donald Trump announced the US was moving its embassy from the Israeli city of Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, following through on a long-held pledge to recognise the city as Israel’s capital.
Though previous US leaders, including former presidents Barack Obama, George W Bush, and Bill Clinton, had spoken of doing the same during their tenures, Trump was the first to actually make the move.
Araqchi was voicing sentiments widely expressed by Iranian leaders, most notably by Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
“We must by no means think that it is too late, even if decades have passed,” he said.
Jerusalem is a city considered holy by Muslim, Christian, and Jewish believers. It was divided between Israeli and Arab forces after the latter’s defeat to the former during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War.
Israel took over the eastern part of the city in the 1967 Six-Day War, and has occupied the territory since annexing it unilaterally in 1980, prompting international rejection and condemnation.
The state has solidified its hold on the occupied territory by building settlements both within East Jerusalem and in bordering areas in the occupied West Bank.