Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has warned Israel that it must pull back from its attacks on Gaza or face the possibility of an expanded conflict.

Speaking on Tuesday, Khamenei accused Israel of committing “genocide” in its assault on the besieged Gaza Strip, adding that Iran-backed forces across the region would not sit on the sidelines indefinitely.

“If the crimes of the Zionist [Israeli] regime continue, Muslims and resistance forces will become impatient, and no one can stop them,” Khamenei said.

“Regarding the situation in Gaza, we all have a responsibility to react; we must react,” he said.

The comments are the latest out of Tehran warning Israel and the United States that Iran-backed groups across the region, sometimes referred to as the “axis of resistance”, could join the current war between Israel and Hamas.