Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei during a meeting in Tehran on January 16, 2024

Iran's Leader Praises Houthi Attacks On Shipping

Tuesday, 01/16/2024

Despite international criticism of Houthi attacks in the Red Sea, the leader of the Islamic Republic commended and praised the militia.

In a speech on Tuesday, Ali Khamnenei claimed that the Houthis have struck a blow to the "vital arteries of Israel."

The Shiite Houthi group in Yemen, known as Ansarullah, which has long enjoyed significant financial and military support from the Islamic Republic, has committed dozens of attacks on global shipping, including US and Israeli linked vessels since November.

US and British forces jointly targeted dozens of positions of the militants in response to Houthi attacks on international shipping routes in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden last Thursday.

Subsequently, the US President announced that Washington had delivered a "private message" to Iran regarding the Houthis and their attacks on commercial ships in the Red Sea, which is a major trade passage, forcing many companies to go longer, more costly routes. The Iranian Foreign Minister confirmed receiving the message but stated that the Houthis would continue their attacks in the Red Sea until the end of the Gaza conflict.

In his speech to Friday prayer leaders in Tehran, Ayatollah Khamenei, who first called for the blockade in the wake of the Gaza war sparked by Hamas's invasion of Israel on October 7, praised and prayed for the "struggle and resistance" of the Shiite Houthis, urging it to "continue until victory."

He said, "What they did in supporting the people of Gaza is commendable. They struck blows to the vital arteries of the Zionist regime, without fearing the United States."

Khamenei's comments recall his statements about the extremist group Hamas in response to its attack on Israeli soil on October 7 when he said, "We kiss the foreheads and arms of the resourceful and intelligent designers [the operation] and the Palestinian youth." Hamas has also long been supported financially and militarily by Iran in its battle against Israel and the West.

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