In front of dozens of Arab-Islamic leaders gathered in Saudi ArabiaIran raised the tone of its rhetoric against Israel, reiterating the need to erase the Jewish state from the Middle East, and kept the negotiating stakes with the United States high, accusing Washington of providing fuel for the Israeli offensive on the Strip Gaza. In the first visit in 11 years by an Iranian president to Saudi Arabia, Raisi stated that the only solution to the ongoing conflict “is continued resistance against Israeli oppression, until the creation of the Palestinian state from the river to the sea.”, effectively supporting the need to destroy Israel. “The passage of time does not legitimize the occupation, nor does it create a right for the occupier,” Raisi warned, adding that any solution to the Palestinian issue should include the fact that the Zionist regime is an occupier and has no rights to the land Palestinian. “Let’s kiss the hands of Hamas,” added the Iranian head of state, who then met with Saudi crown prince Muhammad bin Salman for the first time since the diplomatic and political thaw between the two countries in March. At the Riyadh summit, Raisi invited Arab-Islamic leaders to “decide which side to take”, to “arm the Palestinians”, to define the Israeli army as a “terrorist organisation”, to “apply sanctions and an energy boycott against Israel”, to “send international inspectors to Israeli nuclear facilities” and to bring the United States and Israel before the international tribunal in The Hague for the crimes committed in Gaza. While Palestinian President Abu Mazen declared that his people are “subjected to a war of extermination that has crossed all red lines” and that Israel is “fully responsible for the killing and wounding of every Palestinian”.
Raisi’s words from Riyadh were echoed by those of Hassan Nasrallah, leader of the pro-Iranian Lebanese Hezbollah. In his second speech since October 7, Nasrallah reiterated that the war front from southern Lebanon against northern Israel “remains open” and that in recent days the Party of God has gradually raised the barge of conflict, sending “spy drones over the skies of Haifa” and using more powerful weapons. In the previous speech given after the start of hostilities, Nasrallah had warned Israel that for every Lebanese civilian killed there would be a symmetrical response from Hezbollah. In recent days Israeli strikes have killed three little girls aged 10, 12 and 14 and their grandmother. “We fired on Kiryat Shmona,” Nasrallah said in reference to one of the attacks on the Israeli town in the northern Galilee. The Hezbollah leader then said in an even more explains that Iran politically and concretely supports all anti-Israeli resistance movements in the region “with money, weapons, means”, reiterating however that Tehran does not impose its own choices on these groups in Lebanon, Iraq, Yemen and Syria. Speaking of the regional war front, the Lebanese Shiite leader addressed the United States by stating that armed groups in the Middle East will continue to strike American targets in Syria and Iraq until “the aggression on Gaza ceases”. To then argue that “time plays in favor of the resistance movements and helps to inflict defeat on the occupiers.” For his part, Crown Prince bin Salman spoke with much less heated tones towards Israel and the United States. Mbs, who before October 7 was moving towards a historic agreement with Israel, called for the immediate cessation of military operations in Gaza and the release of all prisoners. The de facto Saudi leader then resurrected the points of the peace plan proposed by Riyadh 21 years ago in Beirut: the only path, he reiterated, is «the end of the Israeli occupation and illegal settlements, the restoration of the acquired rights of Palestinian people and the creation of the state within the 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital.”