Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei discussed the invasion of southern Israel in an October 10, 2023 address delivered at the officer graduation ceremony at Imam Ali Army Officer University, which was aired on Channel 1 (Iran). He said that the "oppressive Zionists" have brough this calamity upon themselves. Khamenei warned that the reaction to the "atrocities" carried out by Israel will be a "mightier slap to their ugly faces." He continued to respond to claims that Iran was behind this invasion, saying that such claims are mistaken and underestimate the Palestinian people.
Khamenei: "Since the events of the October 7 incident, the plundering Zionist regime has suffered an unrepairable military and intelligence defeat. Everyone has admitted this defeat, but I would like to emphasize that it is beyond repair. I say that this devastating earthquake managed to destroy some of the main foundations of the plundering regime's government, which cannot be rebuilt so easily.
"What should a nation facing (years of) so much cruelty and atrocities do? The brave and ancient Palestinian nation… This nation was not born yesterday. It dates back thousands of years. What should be the reaction of a nation facing so many atrocities? Obviously, it will start a flood. When it finds the opportunity, it will start a flood. You oppressing Zionists are to blame. You are the cause of this flood. You brought this calamity upon yourselves.
"Let the leaders and decision makers of the plundering regime and their supporters know that this action will bring a bigger disaster upon them. The reaction to these atrocities will be a mightier slap to their ugly faces.
"Some of the people in this plundering regime and some of its supporters have made false statements in the past few days, and these claims continue [to be heard], including the claim that Islamic Iran is behind this [Hamas] action. They are making a mistake. Of course we defend Palestine and the Palestinian fighting. We kiss the forehead and arms of the smart and resourceful architects [of the attack], and of the brave Palestinian youth. It is true that we are proud of them, but those who claim that the work of the Palestinians can be attributed to non-Palestinians, do not know the Palestinians and underestimate them, which is a mistake.