Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Hosseini Khamenei has called on Muslim states to cease oil and food exports to Israel, demanding an end to the bombardment of the Gaza Strip.
“The bombings on Gaza must stop immediately … the path of oil and food exports to the Zionist regime should be stopped,” Khamenei said in a speech on Wednesday, according to Iranian state media.
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He suggested that the “people of Gaza have mobilised the public’s conscience by their patience,” referring to the pro-Palestinian protests around the world.
“Look at what’s happening in the world. In the UK, France, Italy, and the US, many people came out to the street and chanted slogans against Israel and the United States. They have lost their credibility and really, there is no remedy for them as they cannot justify Israel’s attack,” Khamenei said.
“The world of Islam shouldn’t forget in the case of Gaza it was the US, France, and the UK that stood against the oppressed people of Gaza, it wasn’t just the Zionist regime.”
Thousands of dead
Israel has promised to wipe out Tehran-backed Hamas, the armed group that rules Gaza, following an October 7 attack that Israel says killed 1,405 people and saw hundreds taken as captives.
Israel has launched an unprecedented bombardment of Gaza and imposed a siege on the enclave. Palestinian authorities say almost 8,800 people have been killed.
Iran’s clerical rulers have warned Israel of an escalation if does not end aggression against Palestinians, indicating that Tehran-backed proxies in the region are ready to act.
Iran’s top diplomat Hossein Amirabdollahian said on Tuesday that “it is natural that the resistance groups and movements do not remain silent against all these crimes” committed by Israel.
“They will not wait for anyone’s advice, therefore we need to use the last political opportunities to stop the war,” he continued, warning the situation could “get out of control”.
That statement came hours after Iran-aligned Houthi rebels in Yemen claimed they launched a “large number” of ballistic missiles and drones towards southern Israel, with the group promising to continue its attacks.
The same day, the Israeli military said its forces intercepted a “surface-to-surface missile” fired towards Israeli territory from the area of the Red Sea, saying it was “successfully intercepted” by the Arrow aerial defence system.