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Iran’s President Raisi Condemns Western Support for Israel in Gaza Crisis

By Nigar Bayramli March 28, 2024

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Iran's President Ebrahim Raisi held a meeting with Ismail Haniyeh, chairman of Hamas’ political bureau and the accompanying delegation, in Tehran on March 27, 2024. / president.ir

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi condemned the West for its support of Israel against Palestinians during a meeting with Ismail Haniyeh, the head of Hamas’ political bureau, in Tehran.

President Raisi stated that the current developments in Gaza represent another “big disgrace” for the US and Western countries that supported the “child-murdering regime” of Israel, as reported on the president’s official website on March 27. He criticized any diplomatic moves by America and Israel in the region as “deceitful”, adding that countries planning to normalize ties with this “criminal regime” were now “remorseful”. Describing Hamas’ “Operation al-Aqsa Flood” as an unparalleled event resulting in “irreparable” impediments for Israel, the Iranian president emphasized the “legitimacy” of the Palestinian cause and the principled stance of its defenders, including Iran.

In response, Haniyeh expressed gratitude for Iran’s “unwavering” support, attributing Tehran’s religious and ideological commitment to the Palestinian cause to the deeply rooted beliefs of the Iranian authorities.

During a meeting with the Hamas leader on March 26, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei affirmed Iran’s commitment to support the Palestinian cause and the people of Gaza, praising the “Palestinian resistance’s public relations and media campaign” as surpassing that of Israel.

In the same meeting, Iran’s Foreign Minister Amir-Abdollahian praised the recent UN Security Council resolution calling for a ceasefire in the Gaza war as a “late but positive action and a political victory for the Palestinian nation.” He added that Israel and the US “had not achieved any of their goals” and believed that eliminating Hamas and the resistance from Gaza was an “unattainable idea.”

In response, the Hamas leader also praised the UNSC resolution, stating that it showed Israel was in “unprecedented isolation.”

The UN Security Council passed a resolution on March 25 demanding an immediate ceasefire for the month of Ramadan, the immediate and unconditional release of hostages, and “the urgent need to expand the flow” of aid into Gaza. This marks the first time the Security Council has issued such a resolution since the outbreak of war following Hamas’ October 7 attack on Israel.

Meanwhile, the office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu criticized the resolution and the US for not vetoing it, stating that the US had “abandoned” its previous position, which had directly linked a ceasefire to a hostage release.

Iran has backed Hamas in the nearly six-month war with Israel, which is still reeling from the US decision not to veto the UN Security Council resolution demanding an immediate ceasefire. In March 2022, Haniyeh revealed that Iran paid a total of $70 million to Hamas to help it develop missiles and defense systems. According to Haniyeh, different countries help finance the group, but Iran is the biggest donor. In 2018, US President Donald Trump’s special Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt claimed that Iran provided $100 million annually to Hamas, compared to $700 million annually to Hezbollah.

According to the territory’s health authorities on March 28, at least 32,552 Palestinians have been killed and 74,980 wounded in Israel’s military offensive in the Gaza Strip since October 7. Thousands more are believed to be buried under rubble, and over 80% of Gaza’s 2.3 million population is displaced, with many at risk of famine.

The war erupted after Hamas militants broke through the border and rampaged through communities in southern Israel, resulting in the deaths of 1,200 people and the abduction of 253 hostages, according to Israeli sources.