Iranian President Hassan Rouhani commemorated the anniversary of a fire at the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem on Aug. 21, 1969, by accusing Israel of continuing to “murder and [assault] innocent women and children” and threatening Islamic holy sites, Iran’s Mehr News Agency reported on Thursday.
Addressing the opening ceremony at a conference marking the anniversary of the 1969 fire at the mosque, which was started by a deranged Australian Christian purportedly to expedite the reestablishment of the Bais Hamikdosh, declaredly “moderate” Rouhani said the fire showed Israel had “no respect” either for the Al-Aqsa Mosque, considered Islam’s third holiest site, as well as “land that is completely respected by other religions as well.”
Rouhani made his Israel-bashing comments in front several foreign ambassadors to Tehran, who were taking part in the World Mosque Day ceremony.
Although Australian citizen Denis Michael Rohan was tried, found to be insane, institutionalized and ultimately deported from Israel over the fire, many still believe Rohan was part of a Zionist conspiracy to destroy the mosque and pave the way for a new Jewish temple, and do not accept that he was acting on his own.
Rouhani’s statements came as Iran and world powers struck a deal over the country’s nuclear program that would lift international sanctions and see foreign investment flood into Iran. Rouhani’s comments reflect the stated goals of the Islamic Revolution in Iran to destroy Israel and overthrow Israeli sovereignty in Yerushalayim.