Iran says Washington ‘lying’ about Gaza ceasefire talks

The Cradle, November 7, 2023 —

Washington was reportedly negotiating a ceasefire with regional actors before the White House changed its rhetoric in pursuit of a so-called ‘humanitarian pause’ to Israel’s carpet bombing of Gaza.

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian revealed on 6 November that last week, the US was making behind-the-scenes calls for a humanitarian ceasefire in the Gaza Strip, contradicting Washington’s public statements.

“The US was seeking a humanitarian ceasefire since last week,” Amir-Abdollahian said via social media. 

“We got their message …  they [now] say ‘absolutely false.’ Of course, at the same time, they manage the war game against Gaza and the West Bank of Palestine. Stop the hypocrisy and genocide against Gaza,” he added. 

The US has so far vetoed three UN resolutions calling for an immediate ceasefire, immediate evacuation of civilians, and unimpeded access to humanitarian aid in Gaza. The latest was a UAE and Chinese-drafted resolution on 7 November.

Washington put forward its own resolution on 25 October at the UN Security Council, calling instead for temporary pauses to the fighting. 

However, the initial text of the resolution did not call for a humanitarian pause and mainly highlighted Israel’s right to “defend itself.” It also made calls for Iran to stop arming the resistance in Gaza. Russia and China vetoed the resolution. 

The original draft “shocked many diplomats,” Reuters said and was amended before being put to the vote. 

“The draft does not reflect the world’s strongest calls for a ceasefire, an end to the fighting, and it does not help resolve the issue. At this moment, ceasefire is not just a diplomatic term. It means the life and death of many civilians,” said Zhang Jun, China’s ambassador to the UN. 

According to Amir-Abdollahian, Washington denies that it made calls for a ceasefire.

Over recent days, Washington has been pushing for a so-called “humanitarian pause” in Gaza, but outright refuses to call for a ceasefire. 

“It’s our view that a ceasefire now would leave Hamas in place to regroup and repeat attacks,” US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said on 4 November. 

The limited entry of aid trucks entering Gaza has not been nearly enough to tackle the severe humanitarian situation inside the besieged enclave. 

Israel has also continued to bombard the southern Gaza Strip, where it has repeatedly called civilians to flee to. 

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