By Iran News Update Staff  

The Daily Beast on Monday featured an editorial by the Israeli Minister of Economy in which he stated unequivocally that Iran is largely to blame for the ongoing and globally contentious crisis in the Gaza Strip. Naftali Bennett, who is also the chairman of the Jewish Home Party, pointed to Iran as one of the main sources of financing and logistical support for both Hamas and Islamic Jihad, claiming that this exposes Iran as the main source of regional instability “for the umpteenth time.”

Putting the situation in even starker terms, Bennett claims that, “simply put – Israel is fighting Iran” in the Gaza Strip. His essay goes on to use the context of Iran’s support for terror in order to plead with the international community to use the now-extended nuclear negotiations to put significant pressure on Iran and try to curtail its influence throughout the Middle East.

The National Council of Resistance of Iran provided a somewhat different perspective on Iran and the Gaza issue in a statement issued following its conference on “religious dictatorship in Iran, epicenter of sectarian wars in the Middle East.” While agreeing that Iran has been a consistent sponsor of terrorism in Palestine and throughout the world, the NCRI did not shy away from criticism of Israel’s retaliatory bombings, which have killed more than 1,000 civilians.

Speaking at this conference, NCRI president Maryam Rajavi expressed support for an immediate ceasefire, arguing that the continued hostilities in Gaza distract attention away from Iran’s broader activities in the Middle East, particularly its influence over the wars in Iraq and Syria. Rajavi’s speech and the subsequent statement called for international intercession to curtail Iranian arms distribution, nuclear ambitions, and human rights violations.