Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei appeared to link Israel with the terrorist attacks in France in remarks he made on Tuesday.
"Today, the main enemies of Islam are the Arrogant Powers and Zionism," Khamenei proclaimed, adding that "the last manifestation of their enmity was the Paris incident."
Khamenei appeared to refer to the beheading of a school teacher in broad daylight on the street in a Paris suburb by an Islamist extremist last week after he showed in class cartoons featuring Prophet Mohammad.
"The issue is not merely about an artist’s deviation and corruption. Rather, there are hands behind this incident," Khamenei proclaimed in remarks cited on his own official website. "A president decides to stand up for a simple artistic endeavor and then other governments support him as well," he mused. "This shows that there is an organization behind this act."
Samuel Paty, a French middle-school teacher, was beheaded in a gruesome attack on October 16 by an 18-year-old teenager from Chechnya after showing cartoons featuring the Prophet Mohammad in class.
In the wake of his murder, French President Emmanuel Macron said France would not give up its cartoons, drawing ire from some in the Muslim world, with several more deadly attacks hitting France more recently.
The European country was shocked by Paty's death, then followed by another attack last Thursday at a church in the city of Nice in which a woman was beheaded by an attacker with a knife who also killed two other people.