News ID: 112717
Publish Date : 22 February 2023 - 21:59

Ex-Palestinian Ambassador Laid to Rest in Tehran

TEHRAN -- A group of Iranian activists and officials joined a funeral procession also attended by ambassadors based here for former Palestinian ambassador to the Islamic Republic Salah al-Zawawi, who was laid to rest in Tehran Wednesday.
Zawawi, a seasoned Palestinian diplomat and an intrepid campaigner for Palestine’s liberation from the Zionist occupation, passed away in Tehran on Monday after a prolonged illness. He was aged 85.
In a communique, the Palestinian embassy in the Iranian capital said the former ambassador died a hospital “due to illness”.
Zawawi served as the Palestinian ambassador to Tehran for 42 years (1980-2022) and retired in February last year due to failing health. He was the second Palestinian envoy to Iran after the revolution, succeeding Hani al-Hassan.
One of the founder members of the Palestinian Fatah resistance movement, Zawawi was the longest-serving foreign diplomat in the Islamic Republic of Iran after the 1979 revolution, which earned him the title of Moghaddam al-Sofara, meaning the senior-most foreign diplomat.
Before Iran, he also served as the Palestinian ambassador to Algiers, Brazil and Kenya.
His daughter, Salam al-Zawawi replaced him as the new Palestinian ambassador to Iran in February last year, submitting her credentials to President Ebrahim Raisi nearly a month after her formal appointment.
Zawawi, who commanded great respect from both Iranian officials and foreign diplomats in Iran, was accorded a fitting farewell by Iran’s foreign ministry after his superannuation on February 28 last year.
Speaking at the event, in the presence of Foreign Minister Hussein Amir-Abdollahian, the veteran diplomat said the goal was clear: establishing a Palestinian state from the river to the sea and accepting nothing less than that.

 “I have been in Iran for 42 years and observed the great work of Imam Khomeini and the Iranian people. This great man exploded a major bomb in the world that was more powerful than all nuclear bombs of the world combined. He united the nation,” he said. 
 The seasoned envoy deeply valued Iran’s unwavering and constant support of the Palestinian resistance, bringing it up in his speeches often, both in and outside Iran.
In a speech delivered in March 2018 at an event in Tehran, he said the formation of the Axis of Islamic Resistance by Imam Khomeini had proved pivotal in foiling attempts by Westerners to establish a “fake regime” in the occupied territories.
He also lauded the “wise leadership” of the Leader of the Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, and his unflinching support for the resistance factions in Palestine.
In his message of condolence on Monday, FM Amir-Abdollahian said Zawawi “always fought to safeguard the rights of the Palestinian people, keep alive the Palestinian cause and defend the holy Al-Quds”.