In the wake of a significant escalation in the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi issued a statement on Sunday affirming Tehran’s support for the Palestinians’ right to self-defense. His remarks came on the heels of a high-intensity assault by Hamas on Israel, which saw hundreds of Hamas terrorists infiltrate the country, resulting in a substantial loss of life and injuries, including both civilians and soldiers.
Tehran Backs Palestinian Right to Self-Defense
President Raisi’s message was unequivocal in its support for the Palestinian cause. “Iran supports the legitimate defense of the Palestinian nation,” he declared, as reported by state television. Raisi also placed responsibility for the escalating regional insecurity squarely on Israel and its allies, insisting that they must be held accountable for their actions.
Support for Palestinian Nation and Resistance Efforts
Furthermore, President Raisi called upon Muslim governments to rally behind the Palestinian cause, underlining the importance of international support. He commended the “resistance” efforts of Hamas and Islamic Jihad, as well as those in countries like Syria, Lebanon, and Iraq, who have lent their support to the Palestinian struggle.
Diplomatic Engagement with Palestinian Leaders
Official media sources confirmed that President Raisi had engaged in discussions with leaders of Hamas and Islamic Jihad. State news agency IRNA reported separate phone calls between Raisi and Islamic Jihad Secretary General Ziyad al-Nakhalah and Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh. These conversations further underline Iran’s commitment to the Palestinian cause and its active engagement with key Palestinian leaders.
Differing Perspectives on Iranian Involvement
While Iranian support for Palestinian groups has been widely acknowledged, the extent of Iran’s involvement in the recent attack on Israel remains a subject of international debate. U.S. Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken indicated that there is currently no concrete evidence linking Iran directly to the planning or execution of the attack. However, he did emphasize Iran’s financial support for Hamas.
On the other hand, Canada’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Bob Rae, asserted his belief that Iran was indeed involved in the assault, citing Iran’s longstanding stance against the State of Israel as a key factor. Rae characterized Iran’s objective as the elimination of Israel, emphasizing the significance of this long-standing enmity.
Supreme Leader Khamenei’s Controversial Remarks
Days prior to the attack, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei delivered a speech in which he expressed confidence in Palestinian resistance efforts and predicted the ultimate destruction of Israel. He described Israel as a “cancer” that would be eradicated by the Palestinian people and the region’s resistance forces. Khamenei also advised Saudi Arabia against pursuing normalization with Israel.
Iran’s Ongoing Opposition to Israel
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has been a longstanding and deeply rooted issue in the Middle East, with Iran consistently taking a stance against the State of Israel. Iran does not recognize Israel’s existence and has made the Palestinian cause a central element of its foreign policy since the Islamic Revolution of 1979.
Shadow War and Accusations
It is important to note that Iran and Israel have been engaged in a shadow war for years. Iran has accused Israel of conducting sabotage attacks and assassinations targeting its nuclear program, while the United States and Israel have pointed to Iran’s use of drones and missiles to attack U.S. forces and Israel-linked vessels in the Gulf.
As tensions in the Middle East continue to escalate, the international community watches closely, with President Raisi’s statements and the broader regional context shaping the discourse surrounding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.