Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei said on Monday Iraq can play a “special role” in the region by coordinating with Iran to increase political pressure on the US and Israel to end the war in Gaza.

He made his comments during a meeting in Tehran with Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani, who headed to Iran less than 24 hours after meeting US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Baghdad. It was unclear whether the PM was carrying a US message to Tehran.

Blinken visited Iraq amid growing US concern about an uptick in attacks by pro-Iranian Iraqi armed groups on its bases in Iraq and Syria since the conflict in Israel broke out on Oct. 7.

Several political parties in Iraq have called on the government to sever diplomatic ties with Washington.

“As an important country in the region, Iraq can play a major role in putting political pressure on the US and the occupying regime to stop the massacre of people in Gaza and also in starting a new approach in the Arab and Muslim world,” Khamenei said during his meeting with the Iraqi PM.

He praised Iraq for the strong stance it has taken in supporting the people of Gaza.

He then noted that from the very first days of the Israeli attacks, all evidence pointed to the direct involvement of the US in the war. “The longer the current war goes on, the evidence showing the direct role of the US in directing the crimes of the Zionist regime in Gaza becomes more pronounced,” he said.

Khamenei noted that the US weapon supplies and political support to Israel, saying “the Americans are truly accomplices of the Zionists in the crimes that are being committed in Gaza.”

Sudani’s office said the PM stressed to Khamenei that Iraq is making every effort to stop the aggression against Gaza and allow the entry of aid into the enclave.

He lashed out at the international community that “has abandoned about its responsibilities” and done nothing to stop “brutal crimes, genocide, forced displacement, and the policy of starvation against the Palestinians.”

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian told state TV on Monday that, “Over the past three days, we received a message from the Americans that they are looking for a ceasefire … but in practice they have only supported mass killing and genocide in Gaza.”

“We hope the US will soon change its policy and stop supporting the occupying party,” he said, according to the official IRNA website.

Sudani also met with Iranian President Ibrahim Raisi in Tehran.

At a joint news conference with the PM, Raisi accused the United States and some European countries of “encouraging” Israel to kill and carry out “cruel acts” against Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, reported AFP.

Raisi described the Israeli attacks as a “crime against humanity” and an example of mass genocide and infanticide.

“Unfortunately, the weapons, intelligence and financial aid of the Americans to the Zionist regime encourages killings and brutal actions against the Palestinian people,” he added.

Sudani, for his part, said Hamas’ Al-Aqsa Flood operation on October 7 was the outcome of Israel’s years of criminal policies against the oppressed people of Palestine.

Source » aawsat