Iran’s Supreme Leader calls on Muslim countries to impose a food and oil embargo on Israel as Biden vows to veto Jerusalem aid bill if it excludes Kiev
Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has urged Muslim nations to impose an oil and food embargo on Israel to stop its military operation in Gaza.
Speaking to students in Tehran on Wednesday, Khamenei said, “What Islamic governments must insist on is the immediate cessation of crimes in Gaza,” suggesting that Muslim countries should “block the export of oil and food to the Zionist regime,” as quoted by the state-run IRNA media outlet.
He went on to claim that Israel is “now in a state of shock and desperation and does not know what to do,” while pointing out that the events in Gaza have prompted people to take to the streets and denounce Israel’s actions, not only in Muslim-majority states, but also in the US and Western Europe.
In mid-October, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, had made a similar call, asking Muslim nations to impose an “immediate and complete” oil embargo on Israel.
Iran, aside from being the world’s eighth-largest oil producer, could also potentially block the narrow Strait of Hormuz, which connects the Persian Gulf to the Gulf of Oman and the Arabian Sea. The route is used to transport approximately one-third of the world’s seaborne oil shipments.
US President Joe Biden speaks during an event at the White House in Washington, DC, October 31, 2023. © AP / Andrew Harnik
Back in 1973, an oil embargo imposed on the US and Western countries by Arab nations in response to their support of Israel in the Yom Kippur War led to a severe deficit and an ensuing economic slump.
President Joe Biden will refuse to sign a Republican-backed military aid package for Israel if it does not include billions in funding for Ukraine, according to the White House’s budget office.
The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in a statement on Tuesday dissecting the Republican proposal, saying it “inserts partisanship into support for Israel” and fails to devote resources for Kiev in its conflict with Russia.
“Congress has consistently worked in a bipartisan manner to provide security assistance to Israel, and this bill threatens to unnecessarily undermine that longstanding approach,” the office said, adding that “bifurcating Israel security assistance from the other priorities in the national security supplemental will have global consequences.”
Republicans in Congress put forward a $14 billion aid package for Israel on Monday, calling to slash funds set aside for the Internal Revenue Service under Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act, and to omit security assistance to Ukraine, among other cuts. Newly appointed GOP House Speaker Mike Johnson has stated he would like to “bifurcate” aid for Israel and Ukraine, going directly against the White House’s plan to link the two issues.
The OMB went on to state that the Republican bill “is bad for Israel, the Middle East region, and for our own national security,” but added that the White House would continue to work with lawmakers to find a compromise.