17:36 GMT21 September 2020
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    Iranian President Hassan Rouhani called on Muslim nations to abandon their ties with Israel and sever trade with the United States during a televised speech Friday from the 67-nation Organisation of Islamic Cooperation summit in Istanbul.

    "I call on countries to totally cut their relations with the Zionist regime [Israel] and also to revise their trade and economic ties with America," Rouhani said in a speech broadcast live on Iranian state TV, according to Reuters.

    The remarks follow the US' relocation of its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem Monday. On the same day, Israeli Defense Forces killed at least 60 Palestinians and wounded more than 2,400 others as they participated in the Great Return March and demonstrated against the move. 

    "The holding of this summit and it being welcomed in the current critical conditions of the region reflects the attention of Islamic countries to the Palestinian issue," Rouhani said Friday, according to his official website. "Most of the US administration's actions such as their unilateral withdrawal from the JCPOA and moving their embassy to Al-Quds are not legitimate and acceptable to other countries of the world."

    "Today, we are mourning the last act of the 70-year-old genocide against the innocent in Palestine. The criminal Zionists have challenged the global community before the tearful eyes of the world by trampling human dignity and belittling all values," Rouhani said in a speech at the summit. "While hundreds of thousands of innocent people are deprived of the most basic human rights, the Zionist regime is falsely introducing its own apartheid and ethnocentric system as democracy, calling its religious extremism secularism; what is more unfortunate is that some Western countries are justifying the invasions of the occupiers." 

    The Iranian president struck a hopeful tone, saying that he hoped the meeting of Islamic nations would "lead to the adoption of practical solutions to end this dangerous crisis and to immediately assist the oppressed Palestinian people, especially the oppressed residents of Gaza."


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    Jerusalem, Israel, Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Middle East
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