Khamenei’s comments coincide with the hijacking of an Israeli-linked vessel by Iranian-backed Houthi rebels.
Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has called on Muslim majority nations around the world to sever all relations with Israel as it continues to wage genocide against Palestinians in Gaza, Reuters reported.
Speaking at a ceremony unveiling Iran’s new domestic-made Fattah II hypersonic missile, Khamenei lambasted Muslim governments who have failed to condemn Israel for its war crimes against Palestinian civilians.
“Some Islamic governments have condemned Israeli crimes in assemblies while some have not. This is unacceptable,” Khamenei said. “Islamic governments should at least cut off political ties to Israel for a limited time,” he added.
Khamenei’s latest remarks come after his earlier calls on November 1 for a “Muslim boycott” of Israel which he said should encompass a halt of oil and food exports being sent to what he dubbed “the Zionist regime.”
Sunday’s unveiling saw the Islamic Republic show off its upgraded combat arsenal – including attack drones and 9-Dey missile defence system, with capabilities of launching short to medium range projectiles.
Despite this show of force, earlier reports suggested Khamenei had refused to “directly” engage in the Israel-Hamas war.
According to the report, Khamenei told the head of Hamas, Ismail Haniyeh, that Iran and Hezbollah would not wage war on behalf of the Palestinian movement because it was not given a warning of the October 7 surprise attack.
Iranian and Hamas officials told Reuters that Khamenei urged Haniyeh to “silence the voices” in the Palestinian campaign calling for Iran and its Hezbollah ally to engage in the battle against Israel.
However, Tehran instead vowed to offer Hamas moral and financial support.
Houthis hijack ship
Khamenei’s remarks coincide with the hijacking of an Israeli-linked cargo ship in the Red Sea by Yemen’s Houthi rebels, according to reports.
The the Galaxy Leader ship, which was bound for India, was seized on Sunday and 25 crewmates have reportedly been taken hostage.
Chief Houthi negotiator, Mohammed Abdul-Salam, issued an online statement saying that the rebel group’s hijacking was to show their “seriousness” in waging a maritime battle against Israel, “regardless of its cost.”
The movement, also known as Ansarallah, vowed to take similar action against all Israeli-linked vessels.
“All ships belonging to the Israeli enemy or that deal with it will become legitimate targets,” the group said.
In an X statement on behalf of the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the hijacking was cited as being fuelled by “Iran guidance.”
Israel also claimed the vessel was neither Israeli, nor were any Israelis taken hostage before then confirming it was partially owned by an Israeli businessman.
According to publish shipping databases, the vessel’s owners are associated with Ray Car Carriers, founded by Abraham “Rami” Ungar, a billionaire Israeli and one of the richest men in Israel.
Yemen’s Houthi rebel movement, which captured control of the capital Sanaa in 2014, declared their entry into the Israeli war on Gaza earlier this month to respond to the brutal aggression on Palestinians.
Since then, the Houthis have launched several missile and drone attacks at Israel.
“If the international community is concerned about regional security and stability, rather than expanding the conflict, it should put an end to Israel’s aggression against Gaza,” Houthi military spokesperson Yahya Saree wrote on X.
“We confirm our continuation of military operations against [Israel] until the aggression and ugly crimes against our Palestinian brothers in Gaza and the West Bank stop,” said Saree.