Iran calls on Islamic states to sever ties with U.S.; Abbas cancels Pence meeting

by WorldTribune Staff, December 10, 2017

President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and plans to move the U.S. embassy to the city gives Muslim states an opportunity to unite and sever ties with the U.S., the deputy speaker of Iranian parliament said.

“The least move the Muslim states can make is to summon the U.S. ambassadors for explanations; yet basically, they had better show action and cut off relations with the U.S.,” Ali Motahhari told Fars News Agency on Dec. 9.

Iranian protesters set a U.S. flag on fire during a demonstration in Teheran on Dec. 8. / AFP

Motahhari added that Trump’s decision was “an arrogant move in line with the Judaization of Jerusalem,” and said that Muslims “needed to take reciprocal action.”

On Dec. 8, senior Iranian cleric Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami urged Palestinian Arabs to stage an uprising against Israel following Trump’s move.

Khatami said Trump “proved that the cure for the issue of Palestine is only, only, an intifada (uprising). Only intifadas can turn day into a dark night for the Zionist regime.”

Meanwhile, an aide to Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas confirmed on Dec. 9 that Abbas will refuse to meet with U.S. Vice President Mike Pence later this month.

“There will be no meeting with the vice president of America in Palestine,” Abbas’s diplomatic adviser Majdi al-Khaldi told AFP. “The United States has crossed all the red lines with the Jerusalem decision.”

Senior PA official Jibril Rajoub had said on Dec. 7 that Pence was “not welcome in Palestine” during his upcoming visit and that Abbas will not welcome him because of the statements Trump made about Jerusalem.

A White House official stressed that Pence still planned to meet with Abbas and warned that canceling the meeting would be “counterproductive.”

On Dec. 8, Ahmed al-Tayeb who heads Al-Azhar, Egypt’s top Sunni Muslim institution, also canceled plans to meet with Pence over what he called the “unjust and unfair American decision on Jerusalem.”

Egypt’s Coptic Pope Tawadros II also canceled a meeting with Pence, with the church saying it “declines to receive” him in protest of Trump’s announcement which the church said failed to take into account the “feelings of millions” of Arabs.

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