US embassy move to Quds, war on Islam: Top Iraqi cleric

Press TV- Iraq’s prominent Shia cleric, Muqtada al-Sadr, has slammed the potential relocation of the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem al-Quds as a “declaration of war on Islam.”

“Transferring the US embassy to Jerusalem [al-Quds] would be a public and more-explicit-than-ever declaration of war against Islam,” Sadr said in a Tuesday statement.

Touching on US President Donald Trump’s pledges to recognize Jerusalem al-Quds as the capital of the occupied territories, Sadr called for the “formation of a special division to liberate Jerusalem [al-Quds].”

Sadr urged the Cairo-based Arab League as well as the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to either take a decisive stand on the issue or be dissolved.

The Shia cleric also called “for the immediate closure of the US embassy in Iraq” if Washington goes ahead with the plan to move its embassy to Jerusalem al-Quds.

A general view shows Palestinians walking past the Dome of the Rock at the al-Aqsa Mosque compound after the Friday Prayers in the Old City of Jerusalem al-Quds on November 11, 2016. (Photo by AFP)

On Monday, the White House said that the US government was “at the very beginning stages of even discussing” the embassy relocation.

Palestinians seek to establish a sovereign state with East Jerusalem al-Quds as its capital.

Palestinian Authority chief, Mahmoud Abbas, has warned that relocation of the US diplomatic mission would kill off the so-called Middle East peace process.

On January 14, a spokesman for Abbas’s Fatah Party warned that if the Trump administration goes ahead with the embassy move, it will “open the gates of hell,” Israeli media reported.

Osama Qawasmeh said Trump’s campaign promise, if implemented, would kill any chance for peace and stability in the region, and “the Palestinian people won’t allow that to happen.”