| 5 December 2023, Tuesday |

Iran’s Raisi says Israeli actions ‘may force everyone’ to act

In the latest warning made by Tehran since the start of the Israel-Hamas conflict, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi stated on Sunday that Israel’s continuous shelling of Gaza “may force everyone” to act.

Israel has been hammering the tiny Palestinian region since Hamas gunmen burst across the border on October 7 and killed over 1,400 people, the majority of whom were civilians, according to Israeli officials.

Since then, more than 8,000 people have been killed, half of them children, according to the health ministry in Hamas-run Gaza, an impoverished strip of land which is home to 2.4 million people.

“The crimes of the Zionist regime have crossed the red lines, and this may force everyone to take action,” Raisi said on X, formerly Twitter, on Sunday.

“Washington asks us to not do anything, but they keep giving widespread support to Israel,” he said.

“The US sent messages to the Axis of Resistance but received a clear response on the battlefield,” he said, using a term often used by Iranian officials to refer to Iran and its allies like Lebanon’s Hezbollah, Yemen’s Houthi militias and other Shiite forces in Iraq and Syria.

Although it was not immediately clear what he was referring to, there have been a string of attacks on US forces in Iraq and Syria as well as increasing exchanges of fire between Hezbollah and Israeli forces on the Lebanon border since the Gaza conflict began.

Iran, which financially and militarily backs Hamas, hailed the October 7 attacks as a “success”.

But it has insisted it was not involved in the onslaught, during which 230 people were also taken hostage, according to Israeli authorities.

“Iran considers it its duty to support the resistance groups, but … the resistance groups are independent in their opinion, decision, and action,” the Iranian president said in an interview with Al Jazeera on Saturday, according to excerpts released by state news agency IRNA.

“The United States knows very well our current capabilities and knows that they are impossible to overcome,” he said.

  • Asharq Al-Awsat