Iran recognises Jerusalem as Palestine capital

10:04 PM | 27 Dec, 2017
Iran recognises Jerusalem as Palestine capital

TEHRAN - Iranian lawmakers on Wednesday voted in favour of a bill recognising Jerusalem as Palestine’s capital, in a symbolic pushback to President Donald Trump's declaration on the status of the holy city.

According to Iran’s government-run ICANA news agency, 207 out of 290 lawmakers voted in favour of the legislation.

Addressing the assembly, Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani described the bill’s timing as “important”.

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

On Dec 6, US President Donald Trump announced his decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, sparking a wave of condemnation and protest from across the Arab and Muslim world.

The Palestinians seek east Jerusalem as the capital of any future state. It is the location of Temple Mount, the site contested by Muslims and Jews, and the holiest site in Judaism. It is also known as the Haram al-Sharif, or Noble Sanctuary, to Muslims and is the third-holiest site in Islam.

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. 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.

The UN General Assembly last week rejected Washington's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital, reaffirming that the city's status should be agreed between Israelis and Palestinians through direct negotiations.

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Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei also took aim at Trump on Wednesday, tweeting that he was a lesser president than Ronald Reagan.

"Reagan was both wiser and more powerful than Trump. They took measures against Iran: they shot down one of our passenger aircrafts. But where is Reagan, and how powerful is the Islamic Republic now?" he tweeted, in reference to the 1988 crash of Iran Air flight 655.

"US govt spends a tremendous amount of money on sowing discord among people, and takes up the wealth of rich rulers in the region. By God’s Grace—they should know—we will progress powerfully. By God’s will, we will disappoint US on all arenas," he wrote in a second tweet.