A spokesman for the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) said that, by going ahead with settlements, the Israeli regime is risking “complete destruction,” as it will “definitely provoke a reaction,” as quoted by Tasnim news agency.
The rhetoric from Iran comes a day after US Secretary of State John Kerry had criticized Israel’s activities in occupied Palestine, while playing down the United States’ role in facilitating the passage of the UN Security Council’s anti-settlement resolution.
Washington chose to abstain from voting at a Security Council meeting last Friday, when members voted to condemn the illegal construction. The Iranian spokesman hailed the move as a “sign that Washington has come to realize the course of events and continued settlement construction will result in the collapse of the Zionist regime of Israel.”
The resolution was upheld with 14 votes in favor. While the US didn’t vote for the resolution, it didn’t veto it either, which is seen by some as a landmark change, given that Washington has blocked virtually every attempt to criticize Israel at the United Nations for decades.
Israel took control of Palestine in 1967, and has since faced mounting criticism of its occupation, which has included the construction of Israeli settlements on Palestinian land. Though the UN maintains that the settlements are illegal, construction has only been stepped up over the last year.
Some 430,000 Israeli settlers currently live in the West Bank, with another 200,000 calling occupied East Jerusalem home – a city that the Palestinians also view as their own capital.
In his recent comments, Kerry sharply criticized Tel Aviv, asserting that Israel’s settlements in the Palestinian territory have “nothing to do with Israel’s security,” as Israel often claims.
Kerry argued that, without a two-state solution, “Israel can either be Jewish or democratic, it cannot be both, and it won’t ever really be at peace.”