Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Monday urged Islamic intellectuals across the world to make their stand clear on issues like Kashmir. Speaking on the occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr celebrations, he asked the Islamic community across the world to slam “oppressors who invade” innocent people, including Kashmiris, Yemenis and Bahrainians.

Khamenei gave the statement at Tehran Great Musalla (Prayer Ground) where thousands had gathered to observe Eid prayers. “Muslim world should openly support people of #Bahrain, #Kashmir, #Yemen, etc and repudiate oppressors & tyrants who attacked people during #Ramadan,” Khameini said in a tweet.

He also added: “Issues surrounding #Bahrain, #Yemen and various issues in other Muslim countries wound the Islamic body as a whole.”

His statement comes at a time when the there is turmoil in Kashmir and there have been violent protests from several months. However, this is not the first time that Khamenei has advocated ‘Independent Kashmir’. His remark also comes on a day when Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be meeting US President Donald Trump.

Since the bilateral relationship between India and Iran is going strong and trade ties between the two countries have also expanded, these remarks by Khamenei may not go down well with India.

In April 2001, Khamenei had said that he hopes that the issue of Kashmir is solved in a way which “guarantees the rights and interests of the people living in this region so that they will be provided with peace and comfort.”

He had also earlier stated that for Iran, “Kashmir is an issue of humanity and Islam since the Muslim people of this region are clearly subject to oppression and tyranny”.

He had also supported the Kashmiri insurgency in 1990 saying that wherever there is a Muslim community, they receive a harsher treatment as compared to others. “Kashmir is a contemporary example for this,” he said.

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