Iranian leader calls on Arabs to stop ‘Zionist wolves’


Tehran : Iran’s supreme leader Sunday called on Arab states to stop what he called “Zionist (Israeli) wolves” from committing “further crimes” against Palestinians in Gaza.

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In a statement carried by the news network Khabar, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei asked leaders of the Muslim world how long they wanted to maintain their silence on Israel’s military aggression.

The ayatollah said the Arab approach was interpreted by Israel as condoning the raids on the Gaza Strip and the killing of innocent people.

He called on the Organisation of the Islamic Conference to “punish the Zionist regime (Israel) and its leaders (in a war crime tribunal)”.

The ayatollah also condemned the US and President George W. Bush who, he said, “has just lengthened his war crimes record.”

“The Europeans also assisted in this tragedy and showed once again their animosity towards Islam and Moslems and proved that their claims on human rights are just lies,” said Khamenei.

The ayatollah, who according to Iran’s constitution has the final say on all state affairs, declared Monday a public day of mourning to mark the hundreds killed in the Israeli raids on Gaza.

Earlier Sunday, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad rebuked Israel and urged immediate action to end the crisis in the Gaza Strip.

Khabar reported that Ahmadinejad called his Syrian counterpart and the Emir of Qatar, and urged Muslim states to cooperate to end the killing in Gaza.

The Iranian president harshly criticized Israel’s massive weekend airstrikes in the salient, and once more predicted “the collapse of the Zionist regime”.

Iran’s foreign ministry earlier condemned the raids as “savage, inhuman and contrary to all human rights’ norms,” and reiterated Iran’s firm support for the Palestinian nation.

The Iranian parliament interrupted its normal session Sunday and shouted for several minutes “death to Israel”, while Speaker Ali Larijani warned that Israel would soon face a third wave of intifada or Palestinian uprising.

A demonstration was held Sunday against Israel in front of the UN headquarters in northern Tehran, and a solidarity protest in front of the Palestinian embassy in the capital.