Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi called Saturday on Islamic governments to designate Israel’s military a “terrorist organization,” citing its current operations in the Gaza Strip.
“Islamic governments should designate the army of the occupying and aggressor regime as a terrorist organization,” Raisi told a summit of Arab and Muslim leaders in the Saudi capital Riyadh.
The emergency meeting of the Arab League and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) comes after Hamas militants’ bloody October 7 attacks that Israeli officials say left about 1,200 people dead, mostly civilians, and some 240 taken hostage.
Israel’s subsequent retaliatory aerial and ground offensive has so far killed more than 11,000 people, also mostly civilians and many of them children, according to the Hamas-run health ministry.
In his first visit to Riyadh since Iran and Saudi Arabia agreed to restore ties in March, Raisi urged nations that have ties with Israel to sever them and called for greater support for Palestinians.
He called for “cutting any sort of political or economic relations with the Zionist regime” as important steps to be taken by Islamic countries.
Implementing a “trade boycott against the Zionist regime especially in the energy field should be prioritised,” he added.
The Iranian president, whose country is a supporter of Hamas militants, hit out at the United States for providing financial and military support to Israel.
“Both the war machine of the Zionist regime and its fuel belong to the Americans,” he said, adding that “undoubtedly, the US government is the commander and the main accomplice of this crime.”