Ayatollah Ali Khamenei
Ayatollah Ali KhameneiReuters

Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said on Wednesday that efforts underway to forge a normalization of ties between Israel and Arab countries will not resolve the crisis in the Middle East, reported the AFP news agency.

"Some people think that by forcing neighboring countries to normalize their ties (with Israel) the problem will be solved," said Khamenei, adding, "They are wrong."

"Palestine should be returned to them (Palestinian Arabs)," the Supreme Leader continued, adding, "They should form their own regime, their own system, then that system should decide how to deal with the Zionists."

Khamenei's remarks came after US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Monday said Washington is nearly ready with a security package to offer Saudi Arabia if it normalizes relations with Israel.

Israel and Saudi Arabia appeared to be on track towards normalization before Hamas’ October 7 attack against Israel and the war in Gaza which followed.

Shortly after the start of the war in Gaza, sources told Reuters that Saudi Arabia is putting the US-backed plans to normalize ties with Israel on ice.

Saudi Foreign Minister, Prince Faisal bin Farhan, later said that he believes talks on normalization between Israel and Saudi Arabia will resume immediately after the conclusion of the war in Gaza.

More recently, the top Saudi diplomat indicated that normalization with Israel requires both an end to the fighting in the Gaza Strip as well as the establishment of a Palestinian state, which Saudi officials have long insisted is a condition for normalization with Israel.

Blinken said late last month that the United States and Saudi Arabia have made "good progress" in talks on normalizing ties between the kingdom and Israel.

"I believe we can reach an agreement, which would present a historic opportunity for two nations, but also for the region as a whole," Blinken said.