Iran's ruler Ali Khamenei during a meeting on February 18, 2024

Iran’s Khamenei Accuses Other Muslims Of Being Soft On Israel

Thursday, 02/22/2024
Maryam Sinaiee

A British Iranian journalist and political analyst and a regular contributor to Iran International

Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has once again criticized other Islamic countries for not severing all relations with Israel, and called for the destruction of the Jewish state.

During a speech on Thursday, Khamenei reiterated his belief in political Islam and Islam as the cornerstone of social structure, accusing heads of Islamic states of failing to follow the teachings of the Quran regarding Gaza. He stated, "The Almighty God will question the Muslim nations because they did not put pressure on their governments to stop supporting the Zionist regime as well as the Islamic governments because they did not follow the Quranic orders."

Khamenei questioned the actions of leaders of Muslim countries, asking whether they are adhering to the Quran's commandment not to “establish connections with the enemies of God and enemies of Muslims? And why the heads of Islamic countries are not openly severing their ties with the murderous Zionist regime and stopping to help that regime?" he asked while stressing that the Gaza war is the biggest current issue of the Islamic world.

Iran's leader also claimed that those who are fighting Israel, who he called the brave Resistance movement, are enacting the teachings of the holy book of Islam and promised that the “Zionist cancerous tumor” would be overthrown and destroyed.

Although Khamenei did not directly mention militant forces acting as proxies for Iran, such as the Houthis in Yemen, he has previously in early November called on Muslim nations to blockade Israel. While initially cautious about the Gaza-Israel conflict, Khamenei later urged Muslim states with political connections to Israel to temporarily sever ties. He also advocated for an Islamic oil and food embargo on Israel to force a ceasefire amid the conflict sparked by Hamas attacks in October.
After his call for a blockade of Israel, Houthis began firing missiles and drones on commercial and even naval vessels in the Red Sea region, disrupting global shipping. The United States and Britain have launched retaliatory air strikes at Houthi military installations.
"Some Islamic governments have condemned Israeli crimes in assemblies while others have not. This is unacceptable," Khamenei said in a speech to students on November 19 in which he also claimed that Israel had been defeated by Hamas. It was unclear which nations he was referring to as countries across the Arab world had all stood by Gaza in the wake of the war declared by Hamas on October 7.

Some Islamic countries including Turkey and Jordan expelled Israeli envoys after the conflict began, but Bahrain’s Crown Prince and Prime Minister Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa became the first Arab leader on November 19 to “unequivocally” condemn the Hamas attacks on Israel and urge the militants to release Israeli hostages.

On February 8, Khamenei reiterated his call for a blockade of Israel. “It is the duty of the governments to cut off political, propaganda and arms aid and not to send consumer goods to the Zionist regime,” Khamenei said.

Tehran has avoided any direct military involvement in the Israel-Hamas conflict but has used its proxy groups such as the Houthis and Hezbollah to attack Israeli and American targets in the region in the wake of the October 7 Hamas attack. There were more than 160 rocket and drone attacks on American forces stationed in Iraq and Syria since mid-October, until the US launched air strikes against dozens of target in late January.

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