As Israel has been bombarding Gaza since the fatal Hamas attacks, Iran’s top leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, called on Muslim nations on Wednesday to stop all trade with Israel, including oil exports.
Israel has been bombarding the Gaza Strip since October 7, when militants from Hamas broke through the border and killed over 1,400 people, the majority of them were civilians, according to Israeli officials.
Two-thirds of the victims of the bombing campaign were women and children, accounting for over 8,500 deaths, according to the health ministry operated by Hamas.
“Islamic governments must insist on quickly ending the crimes,” Khamenei told a gathering of students in Tehran.
“Muslim countries should not cooperate economically with the Zionist regime (Israel),” he said, calling for a “block on oil and food exports”.
Khamenei lambasted Western governments who “stood against Palestine”, naming Britain, France and the United States.
“The Muslim world must not forget who is putting pressure on the population of Gaza. It’s not just about the Zionist regime,” he said.
Defence Minister Mohammad Reza Ashtiani warned, “certain European countries which help” Israel to “be careful not to anger Muslims”.
Although it has denied any involvement, Iran, which provides financial and military backing to Hamas, has praised the militant group’s strike on Israel as a “success.”
Iran sees it as “its duty to support the resistance groups,” according to President Ebrahim Raisi, but he urged that they operate on their own.
Iran is allegedly “actively facilitating” attacks on US personnel in the Middle East, according to the White House.
The United States unveiled fresh sanctions on Friday that are aimed at the Iranian funding sources and networks that support Hamas.