A top aide to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei said there will be a third intifada and called on all Muslim countries to support Palestinian armed factions to fight Israel. “Islamic countries must support the Palestinians, particularly Palestinian combatants such as Hamas and the Islamic Jihad, which have prioritized to carry out jihad and resistance against the Zionists,” Ali Akbar Velayati said in an interview with state-run Al-Alam TV. “And the Islamic Republic of Iran strongly backs Palestinian combatants, intifada, and the presence of people on the streets to demonstrate against the foolish decision of Trump. It defends all kinds of Palestinian acts of resistance,” the former foreign minister added.

Velayati also opined that the third intifada against Israel will be much more powerful than the previous ones. “This resistance front – which includes Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Palestinians such as Hamas and the Islamic Jihad – is for resistance against the Zionists and the expansion of Zionism. The ultimate victory will certainly be with the Muslims. We are very hopeful that this time, God willing, a greater blow is struck at the Zionist regime,” he stressed.

Comment: Official statements and commentaries in Iran indicate that the Islamic Republic is seeking to exploit the aftermath of Trump’s announcement on the status of Jerusalem. As one analyst wrote in I.R.G.C.-affiliated Tasnim News Agency, Tehran hopes that Washington’s decision would help Iran’s efforts to further strengthen the “resistance front” in the region to fight Israel. 

Furthermore, Iranian leaders and clerics are encouraging Palestinian armed groups to wage another armed uprising against Israel. President Hassan Rouhani and Quds Force Commander Qassem Soleimani this week called the leadership of Hamas and pledged Iran’s “all-out support” for them in their armed struggle against the Jewish state. According to the read-out of the phone conversations with the leadership of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, Soleimani also emphasized that other groups within the “resistance axis in the region” are also ready to defend the al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem.

During last Friday’s prayer, Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami, an aide to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, called for an uprising against Israel. “With this decision, Trump rejected all negotiations of the past seven decades and demonstrated that the only and only way to achieve the Palestinian aspiration is through intifada, which would change the Zionist regime’s daylight into a dark night. You should rage against this occupying regime; and the more you inflict damage to this usurper and criminal regime, the closer you have taken a step toward pleasing God,” he said.