In a series of statements issued on Tuesday, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei expressed strong sentiments regarding the ongoing conflict in Gaza. Iranian state TV reported that Khamenei made a series of bold claims, emphasizing that Muslims worldwide and resistance forces would be unstoppable if Israel‘s actions in Gaza persisted.
Since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, Iran’s clerical leaders have consistently expressed their unwavering support for the Palestinian cause. Tehran openly provides financial aid and military assistance to Hamas, an Islamist group that governs Gaza.
Israel, in response to a deadly attack by Hamas militants on October 7, which resulted in the deaths of over 1,400 people, primarily civilians, has pledged to eliminate the group. This incident on October 7 marked the deadliest single day in Israel’s 75-year history.
Khamenei, who frequently refers to Iran’s aligned armed groups throughout the Middle East as part of the “Resistance Axis,” made several noteworthy declarations. He stated that individuals residing in Israeli settlements in occupied Palestine are not civilians but are predominantly armed. He also called for Israeli officials to face trial for their actions against Palestinians in Gaza, which he referred to as crimes.
Furthermore, Khamenei insisted that the bombardments in Gaza must come to an immediate halt. These statements come amid increasing concerns of a potential escalation in the Israel-Hamas conflict. While Iran has previously discussed the risk of an escalation, these remarks by Khamenei were described as the strongest warning yet that the conflict might expand, potentially becoming a regional crisis.
Iran’s Foreign Minister, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, heightened these concerns by suggesting that the “resistance front” could take pre-emptive action in the near future. The “resistance front” is an alliance of regional forces, including Hezbollah, a powerful Lebanese group with backing from Iran. In recent days, clashes have erupted between Hezbollah and the Israeli military along the Lebanese-Israeli border, raising fears that this could evolve into another front in the ongoing conflict.
Hezbollah is known to possess a significant arsenal of weapons, including missiles capable of reaching deep into Israeli territory, in addition to a substantial force of battle-hardened fighters.
The “resistance front” also encompasses groups supported by Iran in Syria and Iraq, according to reports from the BBC. Western nations have cautioned Tehran against further escalation, with the situation having been contained so far. However, there are concerns that if Israel were to launch a ground offensive in Gaza, militants may feel compelled to respond, possibly exacerbating the situation.
The international community closely watches these developments, as the conflict continues to evolve and potentially widen into a regional crisis, with Iran playing a significant role in supporting various groups in the region.
(with inputs from Reuters and IANS)

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