On the occasion of the birthday of Imam Ali — considered by Shi’ites to be the rightful successor to Muhammad — Iran’s ambassador to Spain invokes Ali’s memory in attempting to justify his country’s conduct against Israel and the West.
Iran’s Ambassador to Spain, Mahmoud Salehi, said Iranian government and nation’s support for Islamic resistance in Lebanon and Palestine is based on Islamic teachings of Imam Ali (AS).
In a ceremony to commemorate the birthday anniversary of the Commander of Faithful, Imam Ali (AS), here on Monday, Salehi, said Imam Ali (AS) has urged Muslims to assist oppressed nations and that’s why Iran’s foreign policy has been on the basis of
defending the rights of the Lebanese and Palestinian people.
“In the contemporary world, the Zionist regime is an embodiment of an oppressor and we have the duty to defend the oppressed,” he said.
Salehi appears to be quoting Ali’s last testament, in which he said:
“Oppose the oppressor and support the oppressed … Persist in jihad in the cause of Allah, with your money, your souls, and your tongue.
“Jihad in the cause of Allah”: jihad fi sabil Allah. That is, taking up arms in the cause of Allah.
More of Ali’s thoughts on jihad — certainly in the forefront of the minds of the Iranian leadership — can be found in the Nahj al-Balaghah (“Highway of Eloquence”), a collection of his sermons. For examples, see sermons 24 and 27, both entitled “Exhorting people for jihad.”