President Ebrahim Raisi headed to Saudi Arabia to attend a summit on the war between Israel and Hamas militants in first trip by an Iranian head of state in years.
Raisi said time had come for action over the conflict in Gaza rather than talk. "Gaza is not an arena for words. It should be for action," he said at Tehran airport before departing for the summit of Arab and Islamic nations in the Saudi Arabian capital Riyadh.
"Today, the unity of the Islamic countries is very important," he added.
It is the first visit to Saudi Arabia by an Iranian head of state since Tehran and Riyadh ended years of hostility under a China-brokered deal in March.
The Iranian regime has rendered financial and military support to Hamas for more than two decades and glorified the October 7 terror attack by holding street celebrations on the same day. However, it has refrained from direct military involvement in the Gaza war, facing warnings from the United States.
"The summit will send a strong message to warmongers in the region and result in the cessation of war crimes in Palestine," Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, who is accompanying Raisi, was quoted as saying by a government website.
"America says it doesn't want an expansion of the war and has sent messages to Iran and several countries [to this effect]. But these statements are not consistent with America's actions," Raisi said in the televised comments at Tehran airport.
"The war machine in Gaza is in the hands of America, which is preventing a ceasefire in Gaza and expanding the war. The world must see the true face of America," Raisi claimed.