Iran, Muslim Brotherhood Threaten Violent Reprisals for U.S. Recognition of Jerusalem

Muslim extremists issue call to arms following Trump's pro-Israel speech

A Palestinian protester runs after catching fire during clashes with Israeli troops at a protest against US President Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel
Palestinian protester runs after catching fire during clashes with Israeli troops at protest against President Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as capital of Israel / Getty Images
December 7, 2017

Top officials in Iran and the Muslim Brotherhood are calling for violent reprisals on the United States and Israel following President Donald Trump's recognition Wednesday of Jerusalem as Israel's capital city, a long-promised declaration that has lit a fuse in the Arab world.

Iran's Supreme Leader, as well as many in the Muslim Brotherhood, condemned Trump's effort to relocate the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem and threatened increased attacks on the Jewish state and American assets in the region.

These threats were issued as Palestinians took to the streets in and around Jerusalem to violently protest Trump's move. Hundreds of Palestinian protestors clashed with Israeli security personnel on Thursday, amid a call from the Hamas terrorist group for Palestinians to take up arms.

Top officials in Iran, which has moved to renew its alliance with Hamas in recent months, slammed Trump and Israel, declaring late Wednesday that "the Zionists will be hit harder" as a result of U.S. recognition of Jerusalem.

"Without a doubt, the Islamic world will stand against this conspiracy, and with these actions, the Zionists will be hit harder," Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei was quoted as saying in the country's state-controlled Farsi-language press. "And dear Palestine, without a doubt, will eventually be freed."

The Palestinian cause is being used as a unifying thread across the Middle East, according to Khamenei.

"The issue of Palestine is at the top of the issues facing the Islamic community, and all are obliged to strive and struggle for the liberation and saving of the nation of Palestine," the Iranian leader said.

Similarly, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani proclaimed that the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, a Jewish and Muslim holy site that contains two religiously important mosques, will always belong "to Islam and Muslims and the Palestinians."

"Quds [Jerusalem] belongs to Islam and Muslims and the Palestinians, and there is no place for new adventures of the Global Arrogance" of the United States, Rouhani was quoted as saying in the Farsi-language press.

Iran's Foreign Ministry, in a statement condemning Trump and the United States, said the recognition of Jerusalem will spark a new intifada, or uprising.

"The provocative and unwise decision by the U.S. to recognize the Holy Quds as the integrated capital of the Zionist regime will not contribute to regional peace and stability; rather it will enrage the Muslims and fan the flames of a new Intifada, prompting violent acts for which the U.S. and Zionist regime should stand accountable," the statement read.

The Muslim Brotherhood, a group designated by many nations as a terrorist organization, also threatened attacks on the United Statesand Israel as a result of the move.

"Moving U.S. embassy to Jerusalem categorizes U.S. as an enemy state and all of its interests will be subject to the political position [that we have] towards interests of the Zionist entity," the Brotherhood said in an official statement.

Rep. Ron DeSantis (R., Fla.) told the Washington Free Beacon that the threats of violence by the Brotherhood underscore the need to formally designate it as a terror group in the United States, an effort that DeSantis has helped lead.

"Threats by the virulently anti-Semitic Muslim Brotherhood underscore the need for the Trump administration to act swiftly to designate the Brotherhood as a foreign terrorist organization," said DeSantis, a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. "The Brotherhood is pestilence throughout the Middle East; it is not a part of any viable solution for the problems plaguing the Middle East."

Capitol Hill insiders told the Free Beacon that the Brotherhood's latest call to violence could help pave the way for Congress to designate it as a terror organization, which has been simmering for some time without concrete action.

"There was already growing momentum on the Hill to designate the Muslim Brotherhood a terror organization, either chapter-by-chapter or all at once," said a veteran congressional adviser who works with offices on national security and Middle East extremism issues.

"The days of the Obama administration describing the group as a bunch of misunderstood moderates, and lawmakers pretending to believe that, are over," the source said. "The only question left was how actively Congress is going to push the administration. Now that the Brotherhood is threatening to attack the U.S. because President Trump simply did what Congress told him to do, that's not a question any more. Congress is going to be looking to decisively act."