Iran warns of intervening if Israel doesn’t halt Gaza operation: report


WEB DESK: Iran conveyed a message to Israel emphasising to avoid further escalation in the ongoing Hamas-Israel conflict, according to two diplomatic sources acquainted with the matter, as reported by Axios.

According to reports, the diplomatic sources revealed that Iran’s communication, relayed through the United Nations, stressed a preference for de-escalation but indicated that intervention might be inevitable if Israel persists in its Gaza operations.

The reports indicated that the potential involvement of Iran could transform the existing Hamas-Israel conflict into a broader regional war, either through direct engagement or indirect support to militant groups in Syria or Hezbollah’s decision to join the hostilities, supported by Iran.

The message from Iran was transmitted to Israel via the UN at a time when the Biden administration seeks to dissuade Iran and Hezbollah from becoming entangled in the conflict. The United States has recently deployed an aircraft carrier group and fighter jets to the region.

Axios reported that Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian reportedly met with UN envoy to the Middle East Tor Wennesland in Beirut on Saturday, according to the diplomatic sources.

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During the meeting, Wennesland urged Amir-Abdollahian to assist in preventing the conflict’s spillover into a wider regional conflagration. In response, Amir-Abdollahian expressed Iran’s reluctance for the conflict to evolve into a regional war and expressed a willingness to aid in the release of civilians held by Hamas in Gaza.

However, the Iranian minister underscored Iran’s redlines, stating that a continued Israeli military operation, particularly a ground offensive in Gaza, would necessitate a response from Iran.

Wennesland subsequently conveyed Iran’s message to Israeli national security adviser Tzachi Hanegbi and other officials, according to the sources. Wennesland’s office confirmed the meeting with Amir-Abdollahian, stating that discussions revolved around diplomatic efforts to release hostages, de-escalation, and preventing the conflict’s spillover.

Although the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office declined to comment, there was no immediate response from Iran’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs to a request for comment.

Meanwhile, during a briefing with reporters in Beirut, Amir-Abdollahian, who had earlier met with Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah, called on Israel to halt “crimes against civilians in Gaza,” warning that time might be running out.

He hinted at Hezbollah’s potential actions, stating that any steps taken by the resistance would have a significant impact on Israel.

In the wider picture, the recent conflict between Hamas and Israel commenced on October 7, with Israel increasing its airstrikes on the Gaza Strip following a Hamas attack.

Violence has also escalated along the Israel-Lebanon border and in the occupied West Bank, resulting in casualties on both sides. The conflict has resulted in reported casualties of over 1,300 Israelis and 2,200 Palestinians.

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