On the eve of PA President Mahmoud Abbas’s speech at the UN General Assembly, a number of Palestinian groups called for launching a third intifada against Israel.
The calls were issued in protest against visits by Jewish groups to the Temple Mount.
The groups called on Palestinians to take to the streets following Friday prayers to express their “solidarity with the Aksa Mosque in the face of Israeli aggression.”
Hamas’s armed wing, Izaddin Kassam, also threatened to resume suicide bombings against Israel.
Abu Obaida, spokesman for the group, told reporters in the Gaza Strip that Hamas has not abandoned the option of suicide bombings.
“We’re ready to teach the occupation a lesson in case it launches an attacks against the Gaza Strip,” he said.
Abu Obaida called on Palestinians to wage a third intifada against Israel in response to Israeli efforts to “judaize Jerusalem.”
He accused Israel of exploiting the current “futile” peace talks with the PA to “liquidate the Palestinian cause and create new facts on the ground.”
Islamic Jihad leader Ahmed al-Mudallal also urged Palestinians to wage a new intifada against Israel.
“A new intifada should erupt against the Zionist enemy and we believe that our people have the will and ability to liberate Palestine from the river to the sea,” he said during a rally in the Gaza Strip.
Accusing Israel of working to replace the Aksa Mosque with a Jewish temple, the Islamic Jihad leader called on the Palestinian Authority to pull out of the peace talks.
“The enemy is using these talks to pursue its crimes against the Aksa Mosque,” he charged.
A group called the Palestinian Youth Intifada Coalition issued a call to Palestinians to demonstrate following Friday prayers in protest against the Jewish visits to the Temple Mount.
The group said that its call for widespread protests has won the backing of Fatah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and The Palestinian National Initiative.
Masked gunmen belonging to Fatah’s armed wing, Aksa Martyrs Brigade, held a press conference in Gaza City during which they threatened to launch attacks against Israel.
“The enemy will soon pay a heavy price for its crimes in Jerusalem,” a spokesman for the group said.
A senior Iranian military leader said that his country’s “power and resistance” has forced the United States and President Barack Obama to kowtow to Tehran, according to reports in Iran’s state-run media.
The senior military aide to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei said that Iran has strong-armed Obama into accepting its nuclear rights.
“The Americans have sensibly chosen a type of flexibility and withdrawal vis a vis Iran,” Major General Yahya Rahim Safavi was quoted as saying on Wednesday by the Fars News Agency.
The United States “reached this conclusion that they can’t challenge the powerful Iran,” Safavi was quoted as saying.
The Iranian press celebrated Obama’s speech before the United Nations General Assembly earlier this week, describing it as a “different tone” and a “new path,”according to reports.
One Iranian newspaper even declared, “the time for change has arrived,” according to AFP.
Iranian military leaders such as Safavi claim that Obama’s shift from the rhetoric of war to that of peace signals Tehran’s arrival as a world power.
“It seems that the Americans have understood this fact that Iran is a powerful and stable country in the region which uses logical and wise methods in confrontation with its enemies,” Safavi told Fars in an interview.
“Mr. Obama as the U.S. president announced for the first time that ‘we are not seeking regime change in Iran and respect the Iranian nation’s right to access peaceful nuclear energy’ and this stabilized Iran’s right,” he said.
But while Obama’s attitude may be shifting, Iran intends to retain its hardline rhetoric, according to Safavi
America must immediately “remove the [economic] sanctions step by step and a mutual confidence is created, then we can be hopeful,” according to Safavi, who also called on “Americans to desist from their continued obstinacy against Iran and don’t follow the Zionist lobby.”
A top Iranian legislator echoed Safavi’s comments on Wednesday when he declaredthat Obama changed his tune “because of the resistance shown by the Iranian government and nation,” Fars reported.
“Obama’s speech had a different tone,” Gholam Ali Haddad Adel, a party leader in Iran’s parliament, was quoted as saying.
“We now possess deterrent weapons that are more important and more sophisticated than chemical weapons,” Syrian President Bashar Assad told visitors to his palace in Damascus on Thursday.
He emphasized that he had no need for chemical weapons.
According to the report, which was carried by Hezbollah’s paper Al-Akhbar, Assad said this was because the situation in Syria “has never been better,” as “we created chemical weapons in the ’80s as a deterrent against Israel’s nuclear arsenal. Today, it is no longer a weapon of deterrence.
We have weapons that are more important and more sophisticated to challenge Israel, which we can blind in an instant.”
“We turned the tables and sent to the ball into their court. This move embarrassed them in front of the American public, in Europe and even in front of the US government,” he said.
Assad praised the “unprecedented collaboration with Russia,” and added that “we have an agreement with Russia that they will intervene, in a big way, if Syria is attacked.”
Earlier, during an interview that was broadcast on Venezuelan television, Assad said he would not rule out the possibility of an American attack despite the fact that he had agreed to the supervision of his chemical weapons
[What a joke. We all know that Iran doesn't have any intention of halting their march to nuclear weapons. Certainly the world leaders know this as well. As stated - Israel stands alone, just as expected]
Iran’s foreign minister says his country and key world powers have agreed to try to fast-track negotiations over Iran’s disputed nuclear program to within a year.
Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif spoke at the Asia Society shortly after meeting foreign ministers from the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly.
“We agreed to jump-start the process so that we could move forward with a view to agreeing first on the parameters of the end game … and move toward finalizing it hopefully within a year’s time.” Zarif said.
He added: “I thought I was too ambitious, bordering naivete. But I saw that some of my colleagues were even more ambitious and wanted to do it faster.”
Encouraged by signs that new Iranian President Hasan Rouhani will adopt a more moderate stance than his hard-line predecessor Mahmoud Ahmadinejad but skeptical that the country’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei will allow a change in course, President Barack Obama directed Kerry to lead a new outreach to explore possibilities for resolving the long-standing dispute.
[What a joke, part II. If it weren't so serious, with the stakes so high, this would be laughable]
After meeting one-on-one with Iran’s foreign minister, Secretary of State John Kerry said Thursday he is pleased with a new positive tone from Iran on talks over its nuclear program.
But, he said, one meeting with Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif is not going to resolve international concerns about Iran’s nuclear intentions. Kerry said Thursday that Iran had to demonstrate its willingness to come clean about its nuclear program with actions.
Iran’s foreign minister also commented on the talks, calling them “very constructive” and “very substantive” and saying he hopes to allay any concern that Tehran’s nuclear activities are not peaceful.
Zarif made clear Thursday that his country is hoping through negotiations to win a complete lifting of international sanctions imposed on Iran over its disputed nuclear activities.
He said he wants to see progress in a short time.
“We hope to be able to make progress to solve this issue in a timely fashion,” he said.
European diplomats echoed Kerry’s comments after the meeting, saying they were pleased by Iran’s new tone and attitude.
European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said the meeting was “substantial.” She said they had agreed to “go forward with an ambitious timeframe” and that senior negotiators would meet in Geneva on October 15-16.
British Foreign Secretary William Hague said there had been a “big improvement in the tone and spirit” from Zarif compared with representatives of the previous Iranian government.
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