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Iran’s Khamenei blasts Israel, West for ‘bloody’ Gaza war in Eid speech

In response, Israel threatens a direct attack if Iran uses its own territory to retaliate.

Iran’s Khamenei blasts Israel, West for ‘bloody’ Gaza war in Eid speech

Iran’s Ayatollah Ali Khamenei clutches a weapon as he addresses thousands in Tehran’s Grand Mosalla mosque on Eid al-Fitr, April 10, 2024 [Handout via the office of the supreme leader/Al Jazeera]


Iran’s supreme leader has condemned Israel and the West over “crimes” in Gaza during Ramadan in an Eid al-Fitr speech that also promised retaliation for the attack on the Iranian consulate in Syria.

“When they attack our consulate, it is as if they have attacked our soil,” Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said in a speech on Wednesday to thousands in Tehran, with the crowd repeatedly breaking into chants of support.

“The malicious regime made a mistake on this matter, and it must be punished and will be punished.”

Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz responded to Khamenei by writing in posts on X in Hebrew and Persian that “if Iran attacks from its own territory, Israel will respond and attack in Iran”.

Khamenei and other top military and government officials have repeatedly warned of retaliation since the April 1 Israeli airstrike in Damascus, which killed the commanders of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) in Syria and Lebanon.

He made it clear that the strike constituted an Israeli attack on Iranian soil, appearing to increase the likelihood of a direct response, as opposed to one by the “axis of resistance” that it supports across the region.

Iran’s supreme leader Khamenei is flanked by top government and military officials as he leads Eid al-Fitr prayers in Tehran [Handout via the office of the supreme leader/Al Jazeera]

The members of the axis, ideologically aligned allies and non-state groups, have been attacking Israel as they have repeatedly since the start of the war on Gaza.

The Islamic Resistance in Iraq umbrella group of armed forces said it launched two drones at the port city of Haifa in the early hours of Wednesday.

The group has also been behind many dozens of attacks on United States forces in Iraq and Syria since the current conflict in Gaza broke out on October 7, which had significantly decreased in intensity following a drone attack in Jordan that killed three American soldiers but appears to be gradually picking up again.

Hezbollah in Lebanon has been exchanging fire with the Israeli military daily since the start of the war on Gaza, and the Houthis in Yemen continue to launch attacks in the Red Sea.

Israel has been bolstering its defences as it expects an Iranian attack, reinforcing its personnel, aircraft and air defence systems while evacuating some diplomatic missions abroad.

During his speech, the Iranian supreme leader also blasted the leaders of the US and United Kingdom for their continuing support of the war, to the chants of “death to America” by the crowd.

“Western governments, in the past year’s events, openly displayed the wicked nature of Western civilisation to the world,” Khamenei said.

“The bloody events in Gaza have left a bitter taste for Muslims around the world during this year’s blessed Ramadan,” he said, adding that Israel has been attacking women, children and the elderly since it has failed to defeat Palestinian fighters.

More than 33,300 Palestinians, most of them women and children, have been killed by the Israeli military in the Gaza Strip since the start of the war.

Source: Al Jazeera

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