Iran’s Foreign Minister, Hossein Amirabdollahian, has issued a warning, saying that the possibility of opening a “new front” in the Israel-Hamas conflict hinges on Israel’s actions in Gaza.
Iran, a supporter of Hamas and other Middle East armed groups, emphasises that continued crimes against Palestinians will bring forth a response from what they call “the rest of the axis,” with Israel held accountable for the consequences.
Talking to the media after arriving in Beirut on Thursday, Amirabdollahian contends that the displacement of Palestinians and the cutting off of water and electricity to the Gaza Strip amount to war crimes. He stressed that the situation in Gaza represents war crimes and can lead to potential action from their alliance, known as the Axis of Resistance, including Iran, Palestinian militant groups, Syria, Hezbollah, and others.
While Iran has a history of supporting Hamas, Iranian officials deny involvement in the recent attack by Hamas on Israel. The United States has expressed concerns about the potential for a second front opening on Israel’s northern border with Lebanon if Hezbollah, another heavily armed group backed by Iran, gets involved.
Earlier in the day, Foreign Minister Amirabdollahian, in discussions with Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani, has made it clear that the decision to open a new front against Israel would depend on Israel’s actions in Gaza. He emphasised that “even now, Israel’s crimes continue, and no one in the region asks us for permission to open new fronts.”
Later, Amirabdollahian arrived in Beirut, where he was received by Hezbollah and Hamas, among other pro-Iran groups. He said that Iran’s regional allies, collectively known as the “axis of resistance,” could respond if Israel’s actions in Gaza escalate further.
In the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict, there have been casualties on both sides. Hamas militants’ attack on Saturday resulted in the death of at least 1,200 Israelis, foreigners, and dual citizens. Meanwhile, Gaza reported that Israel’s retaliatory strikes led to the loss of 1,417 Palestinian lives.
The international community remains watchful of Iran’s role and actions in the conflict. US President Joe Biden has issued a warning, urging Iran to exercise caution.
Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi has also appealed for cooperation among Islamic and Arab countries to halt what they term as “crimes of the Zionist regime against the oppressed Palestinian nation.”