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Khamenei incites Students, pilgrims, and Muslims to Unite Against Israel.

In his 2024 Hajj message, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei highlighted the significance of the "Renunciation of the Polytheists" البراءة من المشركين in the context of the ongoing Gaza conflict. He described the tragedies in Gaza as unparalleled in contemporary history and condemned the "Zionist regime's cruelty." Khamenei called for the renunciation to extend beyond Hajj to all Muslim countries and cities, targeting not only Israel but also its supporters, particularly the United States. He urged for unified demonstrations of resistance and support for Palestinians, framing the conflict as a broader Islamic struggle.

Iran's strategic use of the "Renunciation of the Polytheists" ritual this year underscores its ongoing geopolitical ploys against Saudi Arabia despite recent Chinese-brokered mediation efforts (March 2023) aimed at easing tensions.

Historical animosity between the two nations is deep-seated, marked by past tragic events such as the deadly July 1987 Hajj when Saudi security forces clashed with Iranian pilgrims during a “Renunciation of the Polytheists" ceremony performed by Iranian pilgrims during the Hajj, which has since been a source of tension between the two countries. During the riots, hundreds of Iranian pilgrims and several members of the Saudi security forces were killed. (Iran avenged their deaths in a series of attacks against Saudi diplomats abroad.) Saudi Arabia severed relations with Iran in 1988 (relations resumed after the 1991 Gulf War) after accusing Tehran of subversion in its territory and among the Persian Gulf countries. 

This year's emphasis on the ritual serves to reinforce Iran's narrative as the true defender of Islamic principles and the Palestinian cause. By casting Saudi Arabia's political alliances as a betrayal of Islamic values, Iran aims to undermine Saudi Arabia's religious authority and rally Muslim solidarity against Israel and its allies.

Khamenei's outreach (June 5) to American university students is another noteworthy aspect of Iran's global strategy to eliminate Israel. In his letter, he commends their struggle against their government's support for Israel, stating, "Dear American university students, you have begun an honorable struggle in the face of your government's ruthless pressure — a government which openly supports the usurper and brutal Zionist regime. I value your perseverance." He also acknowledges the support from their professors and urges students to continue their efforts, positioning them as part of the broader Resistance Front against Zionist oppression.

By encouraging Western students to align their actions with the global resistance against Israel and resonate with worldwide Muslim audiences, Khamenei seeks to internationalize the Palestinian cause and gain broader support. This message connects the domestic struggles of Western students with the plight of Palestinians, reinforcing Iran's narrative of a united front against a common oppressor. This strategic move aims to undermine Western policies that support Israel and bolster Iran's leadership in the global Islamic resistance. By framing the issue in a way that appeals to both Western students and the broader Muslim community, Iran hopes to strengthen its influence and solidarity among diverse groups as part of its overall strategy to weaken and destroy Israel.


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