TEHRAN, Iran — Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Tuesday that “no one can stop” global Islamist forces if Israel keeps up its bombardment of Hamas targets in Gaza in response to the October 7 massacre of over 1,000 civilians committed by the Palestinian terror group.
“If the crimes of the Zionist regime continue, Muslims and resistance forces will become impatient, and no one can stop them,” Khamenei said. “Bombardments should be immediately stopped, Muslim nations are angry.”
Iran has been in close contact with its regional allies, including Lebanese terror group Hezbollah and pro-Tehran Iraqi militias, since over 1,500 Hamas terrorists invaded Israel, breaking through the heavily fortified border from Gaza, killing some 1,300 people, the vast majority of them civilians including children and the elderly, and abducting at least 199 people to the Strip.
Israel has responded with a devastating air and artillery bombardment of Hamas targets in Gaza that has killed at least 2,750 Palestinians, according to the Hamas-controlled health ministry. Israel has said its forces also killed some 1,500 terrorists in its territory.
“No matter what the Zionist regime does, it cannot make up for the scandalous failure it suffered,” Khamenei said of the Hamas onslaught.
Israel has deployed tens of thousands of troops to its border with Gaza in preparation for a full-scale ground offensive, aiming to topple the Gaza-ruling Hamas.
Some 1.1 million Gazans — nearly half the territory’s population of 2.4 million — have been told to leave the north of the densely populated enclave, in order to minimize civilian casualties resulting from the ground operation. The Israel Defense Forces has said that Hamas was putting up roadblocks and dissuading residents from evacuating.
Tehran has repeatedly warned that a ground offensive will be met with a response on other fronts — prompting fears of a wider conflict that could draw in other countries.
Khamenei reiterated Iran’s stance in calling Israel’s air campaign against Hamas “genocide,” and urged the prosecution of the Israeli government over the civilians killed in Gaza.
He also urged the US to “pay attention to its responsibility” in the war.
On Monday, Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian spoke of possible “preemptive action” against Israel by the “resistance front” while President Ebrahim Raisi said time was running out to reach a political solution.
Tehran, which backs Hamas financially and militarily, celebrated Hamas’s onslaught but has insisted it was not involved in the operation.