THE Iranian foreign minister has warned that the risk of a ‘wider’ conflict in the region has sharply increased due to the United States’ all-out support for Israel amid the regime’s genocidal aggression against the besieged Gaza Strip.
Hossein Amir-Abdollahian made the remarks in an exclusive interview with ABC News on Tuesday, as the bloody Gaza war still rages with no end in sight.
‘The scope of the war has become wider. This means that the danger of having a wider war in the region has gone up,’ he said.
The top Iranian diplomat noted that Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu ‘will not survive for 10 minutes’ if the US stops its support for the Gaza offensive today.
‘If the US today stops its backing – logistical and weapons, political and media support – of the genocidal war launched by Israel, then I can assure you that Netanyahu will not survive for 10 minutes,’ he asserted. ‘So the key to solve the problem is in Washington before it is in Tel Aviv.’
He asserted that Iran only wants to see peace across West Asia, saying, ‘Nobody is going to benefit from any war.
‘We believe that the solution is never war.’
Israel waged its brutal war on besieged Gaza on October 7 after the Palestinian Hamas resistance group carried out a historic operation against the occupying entity in retaliation for its intensified atrocities against the Palestinian people.
However, 110 days into the aggression, Tel Aviv has failed to achieve its objectives in Gaza despite killing at least 25,490 Palestinians, mostly women and children, and injuring 63,354 others.
The US is a partner in the Gaza carnage as it has offered untrammelled support for Israel during the devastating onslaught, and blocked UN resolutions calling for a humanitarian ceasefire in the Palestinian territory.
In solidarity with the Palestinians in besieged Gaza, the Yemeni armed forces have targeted ships in the Red Sea with owners linked to Israel or those going to and from ports in the occupied territories.
In response, the US and its allies have conducted illegal strikes on Yemen and alleged that Iran is transferring arms to the conflict-ridden country.
The Iranian foreign minister rejected the baseless accusations, saying the US military is fabricating information against the Islamic Republic in this regard.
‘Mostly, this is a TV show,’ Amir-Abdollahian noted.
He further described Hamas as ‘a Palestinian liberation group that is standing against occupation.’
Also in his interview, Amir-Abdollahian said whether former US president Donald Trump won or lost his bid for another term in office would ultimately have little impact on Tehran-Washington relationship.
‘Individuals are not important, what matters is the behaviour of the government that takes the office,’ he said.
Trump authorised the US assassination of Iran’s top anti-terror commander General Qassem Soleimani and his companions in Iraq in January 2020.
‘That was a big, big mistake made by Trump.
‘That is not something that we will be able to forget,’ Amir-Abdollahian said, adding that Tehran still wanted to see ‘all the people involved in the strike brought to justice’.
- Turkey’s parliament has passed a bill on ratification of Sweden’s NATO membership after months of blocking accession, putting the Scandinavian country a step closer to becoming a full member of the US-led Western military alliance.
‘Today we are one step closer to becoming a full member of NATO,’ Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter, on Tuesday.
The Turkish parliament’s decision will come into force after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan signs a corresponding decree, which will be published in the government’s official journal.
Hungary, whose prime minister Viktor Orban has friendly relations with Russian President Vladimir Putin, remains the only NATO country that has not ratified Sweden’s bid to join.
Last week, the high levels of the Swedish government and defence forces issued a warning to prepare people for the possibility of a Russian attack on the country and asked citizens to be on alert for the possibility of a war, causing Swedes to panic and criticise the country’s leaders.
Taking notice of the call from officials, a multitude of people heeded this caution seriously, causing mass panic, and flocked their way to the market in order to procure fuel and bundles of indispensable and crucial provisions ‘crisis kit’.
Earlier, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Russia had no problems with Finland and Sweden and that their accession to NATO did not pose an immediate threat, but cautioned against the expansion of the Western military infrastructure in these territories.
‘As for the expansion of the North Atlantic Alliance: Yes, this is a problem that is being created, in my opinion, quite artificially in the foreign policy interests of the United States,’ Putin was quoted as saying.
‘Russia has no problems (with Sweden and Finland), but the expansion of military infrastructure on the territory of this region will certainly cause our response,’ he said, stressing that the actions of the Scandinavian states could aggravate ‘an already difficult situation in the sphere of international security’.
Turkey and Hungary maintain better relations with Russia, more than any other member states of the US-led Western military alliance.
- A veteran Italian admiral says the recent stand-off over the strategic shipping lane in the Red Sea demonstrates weak cohesion among NATO member states at a time of rising tensions in the region.
The United States has over the past weeks been spearheading a maritime coalition in the crucial waterway.
Washington’s pretext there is safeguarding maritime transit.
Yemen’s Armed Forces have recently been staging missile and drone strikes against vessels heading to Israeli ports in support of the Palestinians in the besieged Gaza Strip.
Luigi Binelli-Mantelli served as Chief of Staff of the Italian Navy.
He believes NATO ‘should again revise and widen its role in the world’s stability and security … and think about its own solidity’.
‘France and Italy won’t join the US-led coalition in the Red Sea.
‘This will have no impact from an operational point of view, since navies are well trained to coordinate their actions even outside a definite chain of command, but politically it’s a proof of our weak cohesion as NATO as well as EU partners.’
The new challenge in the Red Sea, he said, is ‘testing our determination and cohesion to protect our economy and our common values and way of life’.
Yemen has vowed to continue to prevent the passage through the Red Sea of all ships owned by Israel or heading to the Israeli ports as long as the regime’s genocidal campaign in Gaza goes on.
Nevertheless, the United States recently announced the establishment of a multi-national naval force in the Red Sea.
According to the announcement, so far NATO states such as Britain, Canada, Norway, and the Netherlands have pledged support for Operation Prosperity Guardian.
Military and naval experts warn such a move runs the risk of making matters worse in the region.
Yemen has also denounced Washington’s militarisation of the Red Sea in support of the Israeli regime, saying such coalitions will simply pose a serious threat to international shipping in the region.