Tehran: Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Wednesday accused the United States of “directing” strikes Israel has been carrying out on Hamas in Gaza in response to the October 7 attacks.
Israel has heavily bombarded the Gaza Strip since Hamas gunmen crossed the border and entered Israel and, according to Israeli officials, killed more than 1,400 people, most of them civilians.
The Hamas-controlled health ministry said on Wednesday that 6,545 people have been killed in Gaza since the conflict broke out, including 2,704 children.
“America is a definite accomplice of criminals,” said Khamenei during a speech in Tehran.
“The United States is in some way directing the crime that is being committed in Gaza.”
Khamenei said the hands of Americans “were tainted with the blood of the oppressed, children, patients, women and others”.
The United States, the sworn enemy of Iran, has moved two aircraft carriers into the eastern Mediterranean in a move it says is to deter Iran and Lebanon’s Hezbollah, both allies of Hamas, from getting involved in the Hamas-Israel war.
It has also confirmed this week that it has sent a “few” military advisers to Israel as part of its support for its close ally.
Iran, which financially and militarily backs Hamas, hailed the October 7 attacks on Israel as a “success”.
But the Islamic republic has insisted it was not involved in the onslaught, during which more than 220 people were also taken hostage, according to Israeli authorities.
“Let everyone know that in this matter and future matters, the Palestinian nation is victorious and the future world is the world of Palestine, not the world of the Zionist regime,” Khamenei said, referring to Israel.
On Tuesday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken warned Iran that the United States would respond “decisively” to any attack by Tehran proxies, as tensions rise over the conflict.
“The United States does not seek conflict with Iran. We do not want this war to widen,” Blinken told a UN Security Council session.
“But if Iran or its proxies attack US personnel anywhere, make no mistake. We will defend our people, we will defend our security — swiftly and decisively,” he said.
The Islamic republic lashed out at Blinken for what it said was his attempt to “wrongly place the blame on Iran”.
“Iran categorically rejects these groundless allegations,” Iran’s permanent representative to the United Nations Amir Saeid Iravani said.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
Original News : https://www.ndtv.com/world-news/us-directing-israeli-air-strikes-in-gaza-alleges-irans-khamenei-4512779