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Iran warns US, Israel of ‘harsh consequences’ if war crimes continue in Gaza

Iran's Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian (R) is seen during an interview with Qatar-based Al Jazeera television network. The full text of the interview was published on November 28, 2023. (Photo by the Iranian Foreign Ministry)

Iran’s foreign minister has warned the United States and Israel that they will face “harsh consequences” if they fail to permanently stop war crimes in the Gaza Strip committed during the genocidal war on the besieged Palestinian territory.

Hossein Amir-Abdollahian made the remarks in an interview with Qatar-based Al Jazeera television network published on Tuesday, as a temporary truce is holding between Israel and the Palestinian Hamas resistance group in Gaza.

“It is important that the [Israeli] aggression and crimes must halt and that the temporary ceasefire must become a permanent one. Otherwise, the region will face new conditions,” he said.

“The Zionist regime and the Americans should accept the harsh consequences of a failure to stop the war crimes.”

The four-day ceasefire in Gaza, which expired on Monday, was extended for two more days. It led to a cessation of Israel’s devastating war on Gaza as well as a swap of Palestinians incarcerated in Israeli jails and captives held by Hamas.

Amir-Abdollahian said that Israel welcomes the continuation and expansion of the war in the case the US fully supports the Gaza genocide.

Tehran, he added, was informed through intermediaries that the White House has recently found out that their continued support for Israel does not benefit them.

The top Iranian diplomat also noted that the US has today “the will” to stop Israeli atrocities through a stable ceasefire, send humanitarian aid to Gaza, and prevent the forced displacement of the Palestinian people.

“The Israeli regime failed to destroy Hamas in the past six weeks despite the all-out presence of support of the US and its allied countries,” he said.

“Hamas is a reality that is rooted inside Palestine. Hamas is part of the Palestinian resistance. We believe that the future of Gaza will be decided by the Palestinian people and resistance.”

Amir-Abdollahian further said that the expansion of the scope of the war in the past weeks was part of a “natural reaction” of regional resistance forces to the US’s military support for the Israeli massacre of Palestinian women and children.

Iran has no proxy groups in the region, he emphasized, adding that resistance movements are operating to protect the interests of their own countries, preserve regional security, and defend the Arab-Muslim Ummah.

Israel waged the war on Gaza on October 7 after Hamas conducted Operation Al-Aqsa Storm against the occupying entity in retaliation for its intensified atrocities against the Palestinian people.

Since the start of the aggression, the Tel Aviv regime has killed over 15,000 Palestinians, mostly women and children, and left vast swathes of the coastal enclave in ruins. An additional 7,000 Palestinians are missing and believed to be under the rubble. 

Israel has also imposed a “complete siege” on the territory, cutting off fuel, electricity, food, and water to the more than two million Palestinians living there.

The Iranian foreign minister also described Lebanon’s Hezbollah as one of the most powerful resistance groups in the region.

The US and some Western countries sent 28 messages to Hezbollah in the six past weeks, urging the resistance movement to exercise restraint and prevent the expansion of the Gaza war, he said.

He further said occupation is an ominous phenomenon, which will never be recognized under international law, stressing that the Palestinian land belongs to the Palestinian people.

“We believe that helping the Palestinian people in the face of the occupation and providing the occupied Palestinian land with political support has a legal, humanitarian, Islamic, and religious basis,” Amir-Abdollahian asserted.

He said Iran’s political solution to the Palestine issue involves a referendum among the original residents of Palestine, including Jews, Christians, and Muslims, under the supervision of the United Nations with the financial contribution of other governments.

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