As the world waits for Israel's promised ground invasion of Gaza to begin, concerns are growing about the outbreak of a broader conflict, with Iran indicating over the weekend that it would be forced to intervene if such an offensive does indeed commence, as Fox News reports, words that undoubtedly have the White House scrambling.
The alarming words came from Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian and were issued at a meeting with Tor Wennesland, the U.N.'s envoy to the Middle East, according to a report from Axios that cited two diplomatic insiders.
Nominally reluctant, yet apparently resolute
According to the sources who spoke to Axios, Amirabdollahian indicated his wish that a broader conflict is not ignited across the region but maintained that Iran would have no choice but to involve itself if Israeli operations in Gaza continue.
On an especially ominous note, Amirabdollahian made reference to the possibility that Hezbollah, based in Lebanon and supported by Iran, will put its extensive analysis of war scenarios to work and take decisive action if Gaza is subjected to further attack or escalation from Israel.
Amirabdollahian cautioned, “I know about the scenarios that Hezbollah has put in place. Any step the resistance will take will cause a huge earthquake in the Zionist entity.”
Taking aim directly at Israel, the Iranian official added, “I want to warn the war criminals and those who support this entity before it's too late to stop the crimes against civilians in Gaza, because it might be too late in a few hours.”
Fueling concerns about Iranian coordination with and material support for Hamas was the fact that Amirabdollahian also revealed that he met this week with Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, leader of Hezbollah.
It was also reported that he conferred with Saleh Arouri, the highest-ranking Hamas official currently in exile, as well as with Ziad Nakhaleh, the head of Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
Social media warning
As Reuters noted, the dire warnings did not issue only from the mouth of Amirabdollahian, as Tehran also cautioned via social media over the weekend that Israel's current trajectory is one that Iran promises will yield devastating results.
Taking to X, the Iranian mission to the United Nations made its stance on any continued operations in Gaza clear to all, saying, “If the Israeli apartheid's war crimes & genocide are not halted immediately, the situation could spiral out of control & ricochet far-reaching consequences....”
The post went on to declare that the responsibility for any of those predicted results “lies with the U.N., the Security Council & the states steering the Council toward a dead end.”
As of Sunday evening, Israel's full-on ground invasion of Gaza appeared to have been at least temporarily postponed, with some blaming adverse weather conditions and others citing the need for more time to assess new intelligence related to hostages, but there are no indications that the delay is an indefinite one, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu telling his nation that the “fateful hour” for large-scale action in Gaza is indeed near.