Iran warns Israel of regional ‘earthquake’
RT, October 15, 2023 —
Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian has urged Israel to end its airstrikes on Gaza, warning that the conflict with Hamas could spread across the region if Israel sends ground forces into the enclave, and the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah enters the fray.
“I know about the scenarios that Hezbollah has put in place,” Amir-Abdollahian said in a briefing with reporters in Beirut on Saturday. “Any step the resistance will take will cause a huge earthquake for Israel.”
According to two diplomatic sources cited by Axios, Iran is trying to prevent the war from spreading, and seeking to help Israeli civilian hostages being held in Gaza – but if the military operation continues and Israel goes ahead with a ground offensive, Iran will have to respond.
“There is still a political opportunity to prevent a widespread crisis in the region,” the minister noted, but “maybe, in the next few hours, it will be too late.”
This week, the top Iranian diplomat visited Iraq, Syria and Lebanon, where he met with Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, as well as senior Lebanese officials, to discuss the “potential outcome” and the “positions that must be taken” in light of the war.
In a meeting with Lebanese Foreign Minister, Abdallah Bou Habib, Amir-Abdollahian accused Israel of “war crimes” against the people of Gaza and repeated his warning that if Israel does not stop, “any possibility is conceivable.” Bou Habib backed his counterpart, saying that Lebanon “has never wanted or sought war” and warning that further escalation “will ignite the region and threaten security and peace in it”.
“We are in solidarity with our Palestinian brothers and call for the end of the siege and the delivery of aid to Gaza,” Bou Habib stressed.
Hezbollah fighters are on full alert along the Lebanon border, and have been exchanging sporadic fire with Israel since last Saturday’s Hamas incursion that left at least 1,300 Israeli civilians and soldiers dead.
The Iran-backed group is considered a major threat to Israel, as it possesses some 150,000 rockets and missiles, including precision-guided missiles that can reach anywhere in Israel, as well as thousands of battle-hardened fighters and various types of military drones.
The top Iranian diplomat also met with a senior political leader of Hamas, Ismail Haniyeh, in Qatar on Saturday evening, but details of the meeting have yet to be disclosed.