The Republican Party's losses in the US midterm elections were a victory for Iran and an international defeat for President George W. Bush's policies, Iran's supreme leader said Friday. Speaking to a crowd in the central city of Semnan, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said the Republicans' losing control of both houses of Congress in Tuesday's elections was not "a mere domestic event." "Rather it marks the failure of the war-mongering policies of Bush worldwide," Khamenei said, according to the official Islamic Republic News Agency. As the United States had applied these policies to Iran, "the defeat is in fact a landmark victory of the Iranian nation," Khamenei said. Khamenei, who has the final word on all key decisions in Iran, condemned the killing of 18 Palestinian civilians by Israeli tanks in a bombardment on northern Gaza on Wednesday. Referring to Israel's offensive against Hezbollah in Lebanon in July and August, which he called a "disgraceful defeat" for the Jewish state, Khamenei said: "It seems the Israelis are trying to take revenge on the poor Palestinians for that failure and shame." The supreme leader was visiting Semnan, 155 miles east of Tehran, on a provincial tour.