Thousands of Muslims in Asia protest against Trump’s Jerusalem plan

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Protesters waves Palestine flags during a protest outside the US Embassy in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Friday, Dec. 8, 2017. Malaysian Muslims, including members of the ruling party, were protesting outside the US Embassy over Washington’s controversial move to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)
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Muslim groups protest to condemn Washington’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital outside the US embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia Dec. 8, 2017. (Reuters/Darren Whiteside)
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People hold up the Palestinian flag during a protest by Muslim groups to condemn Washington’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital outside the US embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia Dec. 8, 2017. (Reuters/Darren Whiteside)
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Muslims crumple a portrait of US President Donald Trumpduring a protest outside the US Embassy in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Friday, Dec. 8, 2017. Malaysian Muslims, including members of the ruling party, hold protest outside US Embassy over Washington’s controversial move to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. (AP Photo/Sadiq Asyraf)
Updated 08 December 2017
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Thousands of Muslims in Asia protest against Trump’s Jerusalem plan

JAKARTA/KUALA LUMPUR: Thousands of protesters in Muslim-majority Indonesia and Malaysia joined rallies on Friday to condemn Washington’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, as authorities tightened security outside US embassies.
Leaders in both Asian countries have joined a global chorus of voices condemning US President Donald Trump’s move.
Several thousand protesters, some shouting anti-US slogans and burning an effigy of Trump, gathered in front of the American embassy in the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur.
In Indonesia, hundreds of protesters mostly clad in white were arriving outside the US embassy in Jakarta, capital of the world’s biggest Muslim-majority country. Some wore checkered scarves and waved Palestinian flags, while others shouted “Allahu Akbar” (God is greatest).
“We have prepared personnel and patrols to secure the US embassy. We are expecting between 500 and 1,000 demonstrators,” said Jakarta police spokesman Argo Yuwono.
The US embassy in Jakarta advised its citizens to avoid areas where there were demonstrations and said its consulate in Indonesia’s second-biggest city Surabaya had suspended public services on Friday.
Indonesia has been a long-running supporter of the two-state solution in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and there have been public demonstrations in support of Palestine in recent years.
Indonesian President Joko Widodo on Thursday urged the United States to reconsider its decision and instructed his foreign minister to summon the US ambassador for an explanation.
In Malaysia, leaders from the ruling party United Malay National Organization (UMNO) and the popular right wing Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS), both of which represent the majority ethnic Malay-Muslims, led the rally and representatives of the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas are expected to join.
Protests are also expected in South Asia. Pakistan’s major Islamist party Jamaat-e-Islami has announced rallies in all major cities after Friday prayers.
President Trump said on Wednesday that the United States would move its embassy to Jerusalem in the coming years.
Protests have already broken out in the West Bank and the Gaza strip as the Islamist group Hamas urged Palestinians to launch a fresh uprising against Israel.
The status of Jerusalem is one of the thorniest barriers to a lasting Israeli-Palestinian peace. Its eastern sector was captured by Israel in a 1967 war and annexed in a move not recognized internationally. Palestinians claim East Jerusalem for the capital of an independent state they seek.


US not ‘afraid to tackle’ Iran regime at ‘highest level’: Pompeo

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. (AP)
Updated 29 min 56 sec ago
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US not ‘afraid to tackle’ Iran regime at ‘highest level’: Pompeo

  • The offensive is meant to work in concert with severe economic sanctions that Washington plans to reimpose in the coming months

WASHINGTON: The United States is not afraid to sanction top-ranking leaders of the “nightmare” Iranian regime, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Sunday, pursuing a strategy aimed at Iranian compliance with stringent US demands.
Following Washington’s pullout from the Iran nuclear accord that stunned Washington’s closest European allies, Pompeo on May 21 unveiled the “new strategy” to force Iran’s submission to a dozen demands.
“We weren’t afraid to tackle the regime at its highest level,” Pompeo said in a speech to the Iranian diaspora in California, referring to sanctions leveled in January against Sadeq Larijani, the head of Iran’s judiciary, for human rights violations.
Pompeo also confirmed that Washington wants all countries to reduce their imports of Iranian oil “as close to zero as possible” by November 4, or face American sanctions.
“There’s more to come,” Pompeo said of the US financial penalties.
US President Donald Trump on May 8 decided to restore all the sanctions that had been lifted as part of a multi-national agreement, signed on to by former president Barack Obama’s administration in exchange for curbs on Iran’s nuclear program.
The 2015 agreement was in response to fears that Iran was developing a nuclear bomb.
European allies maintain their support for that hard-won deal and are trying all means to save it.
“Regime leaders — especially those at the top of the IRGC and the Quds Force like Qasem Soleimani — must be made to feel painful consequences of their bad decision making,” said Pompeo, a longtime Iran hawk.
He was referring to Iran’s special forces and Revolutionary Guards.
Roundly applauded by his audience, Pompeo affirmed support by Washington for protesters in the Islamic republic.
“The regime in Iran has been a nightmare for the Iranian people,” he said.
Pompeo announced an intensified American propaganda campaign, with the launch of a multimedia channel with 24-hour coverage on television, radio, and social media.
This will ensure that “ordinary Iranians inside Iran and around the globe can know that America stands with them,” he said.
Regularly suspected of favoring regime change in Iran, Pompeo refused to distinguish between moderates and radicals at the heart of the Iranian republic.
“Our hope is that ultimately the regime will make meaningful changes in its behavior both inside Iran and globally,” he said.
Under Washington’s tougher line after withdrawal from the international nuclear accord, Pompeo has said the US would lift its new sanctions if Iran ended its ballistic missile program and interventions in regional conflicts from Yemen to Syria.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has dismissed such threats, saying the rest of the world no longer accepts Washington making decisions on their behalf.