Iran’s leader says 4 threatening words to Israel, blasts the US and West for 'disaster' in Gaza

Iran’s leader on Wednesday threatened to take action against Israel during a prayer ceremony. He also criticized the U.S. and the West for their involvement amid tensions in the region.

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei spoke at a prayer ceremony celebrating the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan when he promised to retaliate against Israel — saying “it will be punished” — for an airstrike that demolished Iran’s consulate in Syria earlier this month.

In his remarks, Khamenei said the strike, which left several Iranian generals dead, was “wrongdoing” and akin to an attack on Iran itself.

“When they attacked our consulate area, it was like they attacked our territory,” Khamenei said. “The evil regime must be punished, and it will be punished.”

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Iranian Supreme Leader

In this photo released by the official website of the office of the Iranian supreme leader, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei delivers his sermon during Eid al-Fitr prayer ceremony marking the end of the Muslims holy fasting month of Ramadan, in Tehran, Iran, Wednesday, April 10, 2024. Ayatollah Khamenei reiterated on Wednesday a promise to retaliate against Israel over the killings of Iranian generals in Syria.  (Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader via AP)

Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz posted a tweet shortly after the remarks in an apparent response, vowing that Israel will respond if Iran attacks.

“If Iran attacks from its own territory, Israel will respond and attack in Iran,” Katz said on X.

Israel has not acknowledged its involvement in the airstrike, which left 12 people dead, including seven Iranian Revolutionary Guard members, four Syrians and a Hezbollah militia member.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei looking at coffins

Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei looks at the coffins of members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps who were killed in the Israeli airstrike on the Iranian embassy complex in the Syrian capital Damascus, during a funeral ceremony in Tehran, Iran April 4, 2024.  (Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader/WANA (West Asia News Agency)/Handout via REUTERS)

Israel is still at war with Hamas, the terror group which governs the Gaza Strip, and has been bracing for an Iranian response amid its long-running shadow war. Hamas is funded by and has received support from Iran, as does Hezbollah, another terror group that has attacked Israel from Lebanon and Syria in recent months.

Khamenei did not elaborate on the way Iran would retaliate.

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In the speech, he also criticized the West, particularly the U.S. and Britain, for supporting Israel in its war against Hamas in Gaza.

Iranian leaders

In this photo released by an official website of the office of the Iranian supreme leader, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei leads Eid al-Fitr prayer marking the end of the Muslims holy fasting month of Ramadan, in Tehran, Iran, Wednesday, April 10, 2024. Ayatollah Khamenei reiterated on Wednesday a promise to retaliate against Israel over the killings of Iranian generals in Syria.  (Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader via AP)

The Iranian leader specifically condemned the West for not doing more to end the war.

“It was expected they (would) prevent (Israel) in this disaster. They did not. They did not fulfill their duties, the Western governments,” he said.

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Iran supports anti-Israeli terror and militant groups and does not formally recognize Israel.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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