(Reuters) – Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi said on Saturday that the time had come for action over the conflict in Gaza rather than talk as he headed to Saudi Arabia to attend a summit on the war between Israel and Hamas militants.
“Gaza is not an arena for words. It should be for action,” Raisi said at Tehran airport before departing for the summit of Arab and Islamic nations in the Saudi Arabian capital Riyadh.
“Today, the unity of the Islamic countries is very important,” he added.
It is the first visit to Saudi Arabia by an Iranian head of state since Tehran and Riyadh ended years of hostility under a China-brokered deal in March.
The summit will send a strong message to warmongers in the region and result in the cessation of war crimes in Palestine,” Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian, who is accompanying Raisi, was quoted as saying by the Padolat government website.
“America says it doesn’t want an expansion of the war and has sent messages to Iran and several countries [to this effect]. But these statements are not consistent with America’s actions,” Raisi said in the televised comments at Tehran airport.
“The war machine in Gaza is in the hands of America, which is preventing a ceasefire in Gaza and expanding the war. The world must see the true face of America,” Raisi said.
(Reporting by Dubai Newsroom; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore and Christian Schmollinger)