Iran has admitted to supplying military aid to Hamas in the Gaza Strip. Iranian parliament Speaker Ali Larijani said on Wednesday: "We are honored to provide the Palestinian people with military aid, while all Arabic countries do is hold meetings. Palestinian people do not need lectures and meetings", according to the parliament's website. Israel has repeatedly accused Iran of supplying Hamas with its Fajr-5 missile, used to target Tel Aviv last week.
The commander of Iran's Revolutionary Guard, Mohammad Ali Jafari, said on Wednesday that Tehran was only responsible for having shared the missile's "technology." He said: "Iran provides technical assistance to all Muslims who fight against world arrogance," a term used by Iranian officials to describe the West and Israel. The Fajr-5 missiles launched at Tel Aviv "have not been delivered from Iran, but their technology has," Jafari said, adding that the missiles were being "rapidly produced" in Gaza. The Fajr-5 rocket can hit targets up to 75 kilometres away, a far greater range than the home-produced Qassam rockets used in the past by Palestinian militants in Gaza to target Israel.
A key backer of Hamas, Iran has stepped up calls for Gazans to be "armed to defend" themselves and urged the Muslim world to retaliate against Israel for its bombardment of the Palestinian territory that has cost around 135 lives.
Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said that "governments of Islamic, and particularly Arab, countries in the region" had failed to deliver an appropriate response to the Gaza crisis. "They should help the oppressed people of Gaza and also exert efforts to break (Israel's) blockade of the territory," Khamenei said. "Instead, they only utter words, and some have even not verbally condemned the Zionists." Iran has repeatedly condemned Israel's air strikes on Gaza as "organised terrorism," calling on international bodies to try Israel for "war crimes."