Iran votes to declare Jerusalem 'capital of Palestine'

Iran votes to declare Jerusalem 'capital of Palestine'

Iran declared Jerusalem the "capital of Palestine" on Wednesday following a parliamentary vote, according to the country's semi-official Fars news agency.

Iran's announcement to recognize the holy city as the “Palestinian capital forever” comes in direct response to President TrumpDonald John TrumpLondon terror suspect’s children told authorities he complained about Trump: inquiry The Memo: Tide turns on Kavanaugh Trump to nominate retiring lawmaker as head of trade agency MORE's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

“It comes in response to the recent U.S. decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in hopes of dealing a blow to Muslims,” said Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani, according to Turkey's Anadolu news agency.

The bill reportedly passed easily, with 207 "yes" votes from the 290-member Parliament.

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Iran has long been a fierce proponent of a future Palestinian state. Iran cut relations with Israel, which unified the city under its control after capturing east Jerusalem in the 1967 Six-Day War.

Trump broke precedent on Dec. 6 when he announced that the U.S. would recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and begin the process of moving its embassy there from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

While the White House said that the move doesn't specify the boundaries of the Israeli capital, the decision appeared to take sides in a fight in which both Israelis and Palestinians lay claim to the eastern side of the city. 

The announcement, which largely pleased Israel’s leadership, ignited protests across the Muslim world, as well as widespread backlash among other countries, including close allies like the United Kingdom.

Last week, an overwhelming majority of countries voted against the U.S. in passing a nonbinding resolution at the United Nations that declared Trump's Jerusalem decision “null and void.” Thirty-five nations abstained from the vote.

The final tally, 128-9 in favor of passing the resolution, added pressure on the White House to retreat from its decision, and it served as a stinging rebuke of the Trump administration.