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Iran's Raisi intensifies Gaza diplomacy ahead of Riyadh visit 

At a regional economic summit in Uzbekistan, the Iranian president attempted to galvanize diplomatic pressure on Israel, as he prepared for a separate meeting of Muslim nations in Riyadh, his first visit to the kingdom following the Iranian-Saudi reconciliation. 
Iran Raisi

Iran's President Ebrahim Raisi called for collective efforts to halt Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip, and increased international aid to the besieged enclave, as he addressed the Economic Cooperation Organization in the Uzbek capital of Tashkent on Thursday.  

In his televised speech, Raisi censured Iran's arch-enemy, Israel, for committing "genocide" in Gaza and referred to Western states as "dishonorable," for their support of the Israeli government. He noted that "practical measures" were needed against Israel, including cutting off all diplomatic ties.  

Amid the intensifying war between Israel and Hamas, Tehran — a leading supplier of funds to the latter — has officially declared that it does not intend to engage, yet has warned against a potential widening conflict that could engulf the greater Middle East and even beyond.  

On the sidelines of the Tashkent summit, Raisi met with his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Iran's state media said the two had agreed on the need for an immediate lifting of the Gaza siege.  

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