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Iran's Khamenei urges Iraq PM to pressure US over Gaza 

Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani's Tehran visit came only one day after US Secretary of State Antony Blinken was in Baghdad, amid an uptick in Iran-backed militia attacks on US bases in the region in response to Israel's war on Hamas. 
Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani meets with Iran's supreme leader Ali Khamenei in Tehran on Nov. 6, 2023.

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said pressure must build on the United States to end Israel's attacks on the Gaza Strip, his official website reported on Monday.  

"The Islamic Republic of Iran and Iraq can act in liaison and play an effective part in this regard," Khamenei told Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani, who was on a brief visit to Tehran that was focused on coordinating diplomacy at the height of the deadly Israel-Hamas conflict.  

The Iranian leader renewed his condemnation of Washington's support for Israel, saying the US government was "truly an accomplice to the Zionist crimes in Gaza." He claimed that there was more than enough evidence proving that "America was directly leading the war," without which Israel would be unable to press ahead. The hard-line cleric called for urgent humanitarian help for Gaza and "an end to the crimes by the Zionist entity."  

The Iraqi premier's visit also occurred only one day after US Secretary of State Antony Blinken was in Baghdad on an unannounced trip. Iran-backed Shiite militia groups have claimed responsibility for a chain of attacks targeting US bases in Iraq and Syria over the past two weeks. Those proxies, which Iran refers to as "resistance groups," had pledged to hit US interests if Israel refused to halt its attacks on the Gaza Strip, which were triggered by Hamas' bloody Oct. 7 operation in southern Israel.  

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