Iran FM slams world inaction on Gaza
Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki hit out at the international community for not doing more in the face of Israel's deadly blitz on Gaza yesterday and demanded an immediate halt to the assault.
"We are calling for an immediate ceasefire, a halt to the attacks and aid for the population of Gaza as well as an end to the (Israeli) blockade of the Palestinian territory and the opening up of all the borders, particularly the ports," Mottaki said in a sermon at the main weekly Muslim prayers here.
Mottaki accused the Israeli navy of behaving like "a bunch of Somali pirates" after a patrol boat collided with an aid boat carrying medicines and international activists trying on Tuesday to break Israel's blockade of Gaza.
He said the Gazans were justified in their belief that some Arab countries had "betrayed" them.
After the prayers, several thousand worshippers marched through central Tehran to protest against the Israeli blitz, chanting "Death to Israel," "Death to America."
Similar protests were held in other Iranian cities, state television reported.
Iran is a staunch supporter of the Islamist Hamas movement, which controls Gaza, and does not recognise its arch foe Israel.
The death toll from Israel's aerial pounding of Gaza reached at least 422 on Friday as it entered its seventh day.