0123 GMT January 24, 2018
“At the United Nations and the General Assembly, the US failed to secure even a single ‘Yes’ vote,” in favor of changing Israel’s capital, despite all advance warnings to its allies, said Ali Akbar Velayati, a senior advisor to the Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei on Tuesday, Press TV reported.
In a highly controversial policy shift, US President Donald Trump announced on December 6 that Washington was recognizing Beit-ul-Moqaddas as the capital of Israel and was preparing to relocate its embassy from Tel Aviv to the occupied city. The announcement triggered global condemnations and protests.
Left isolated at the UN Security Council, the US was forced on December 18 to use its veto after Britain and all other members of the body voted for a binding resolution condemning Trump’s move.
After the veto, a similar, but non-binding, resolution was put to vote at the General Assembly last week, which was overwhelmingly approved, with 128 in favor, 9 against and 35 abstentions.
This is while prior to the General Assembly vote, the US had threatened that it would “take names of those who vote to reject Jerusalem recognition.”
Velayati further described the global support for the anti-US measure as “unprecedented,” saying the Security Council’s vote “was even met with criticism from the Americans themselves concerning a decline in the United States’ influence at the UN.”
“Major European Union countries unanimously voted against the US. That gives rise to a question as to what caused the change in their views. [The change can be attributed to] the victories of the resistance front in Iraq, Syria and Yemen.”
The issue of Palestine is still of paramount importance to the Muslim world, he said, pointing out to attempts by “enemies and opponents” to sideline this issue.
“They portrayed the Islamic Republic, the main supporter of the resistance front, as the world’s main enemy. But the recent majority vote at the UN General Assembly reflected the awareness and cognizance of the global public opinion,” Velayati noted.
Trump ‘aiming for heart of Muslim society’
Ismail Haniyeh, the leader of the Palestinian resistance movement of Hamas, said on Tuesday that the US role and dominance over the world is on the decline.
Delivering an address in the Gaza Strip, Hanyieh said Washington’s moves on Beit-ul-Moqaddas is “part of a plan aimed at eliminating the issue of Palestine.”
Trump’s decision, he added, took aim at “the heart of the Islamic society and will bring along many consequences.”
Mentions being made of normalization of ties with Israel were actually meant to realize Trump’s decision, Haniyeh added, referring to whispers across the Arab world, most notably coming from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain, about strengthening of the countries’ ties with Tel Aviv.
Israel in touch with '10 countries'
A deputy foreign minister said Israel is in touch with "at least ten countries" over the possible transfer of their embassies to Beit-ul-Moqaddas.
"We are in contact with at least ten countries, some of them in Europe" to discuss the move, Tzipi Hotovely told Israel’s public radio, AFP reported.
She spoke after Guatemala said it would move its embassy to the city, a move slammed by Palestinian officials as "shameful".
Hotovely said US President Donald Trump's statement would "trigger a wave" of such moves.
Hotovely did not name the countries in question, but public radio cited Israeli diplomatic sources as saying Honduras, the Philippines, Romania and South Sudan are among states considering such a move.
Israel seized the eastern part of Beit-ul-Moqaddas in the 1967 Six Day War and later annexed it in a move not recognized by the international community.
Israelis see the whole of the city as their undivided capital while the Palestinians view the east as the capital of their future state.
No country currently has its embassy in Beit-ul-Moqaddas, instead keeping them in the Israeli commercial capital Tel Aviv.