Iran is calling for an oil embargo on Israel over the latest deadly air strikes on the Gaza Strip amid growing tensions in the Middle East just as U.S. President Joe Biden arrived in Israel.
Iran wants “an immediate and complete embargo on the Zionist regime by Islamic countries, an oil embargo against the regime,” according to a statement from the foreign ministry on Telegram quoted by Bloomberg.
Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian has also called for Muslim countries to expel their respective Israeli ambassadors if they have diplomatic relations with Israel.
Amirabdollahian warned, “If the war crimes do not stop and the ongoing genocide by the apartheid Zionist regime in Gaza continues, the situation in the region will spiral out of control”
Amirabdollahian met with his Kuwaiti counterpart on the sidelines of an extraordinary meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC)’s Executive Committee in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
The emergency meeting is taking place hours after a missile strike on a hospital in Gaza killed about 500 people, with Israel’s army and Hamas blaming each other for the attack, which sent oil prices jumping by more than 2% early on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, U.S. President Biden arrived in Israel on Wednesday to discuss the conflict. Following the bombing of the hospital, a meeting of Arab leaders and Biden in Jordan was canceled. Biden claimed that, from what he has seen, the explosion at the hospital was not carried out by Israel but by “the other team”.
Israel is a small oil importer, but the further escalation of the Hamas-Israel war into the wider Middle East is not being ruled out, and analysts are increasingly concerned about supply from the world’s most important oil-exporting region.
With Saudi Arabia also taking a pro-Palestine stance in its recent conversations with the U.S., the possibility for a quick end of the fighting is fading away while the possibility of greater regional involvement appears to be rising if oil prices are any indication.