Iran's Leader calls for Jihad against Israel

Sunday, September 04, 2005 - ©2005

LONDON, September 4 (IranMania) - Iran's Supreme Leadery hailed Palestinian militants for "expelling the' Zionist' regime from Gaza" and called for the "continuation and fortification of resistance and Jihad," or holy struggle.

"The only way to confront the 'Zionist' enemy is the continuation and fortification of resistance and Jihad," Ayatollah Ali Khamenei was quoted as saying in a meeting with the militant group Islamic Jihad's secretary general Ramazan Abdullah, according to AFP.

"Although the retreat of the 'Zionist' regime from Gaza is short of Palestinian rights and demands, it is however a big victory that shows the inability of the occupier regime of Qods (Jerusalem)," the ISNA news agency quoted Khamenei as saying.

He added that "with the cooperation of Jihadi groups", further "success is also possible in other parts of the occupied territories".

Iran is frequently accused of funding and supplying Palestinian militant groups, but the clerical regime says it only provides "moral" backing. Tehran also refuses to recognise Israel.