Iran's foreign minister on Friday warned of escalating violence in the Middle East if Israel’s attacks on the Gaza Strip don’t halt immediately.
Hossein Amir-Abdollahian and the head of militant Lebanese group Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah, met in Beirut to discuss the war that started last week after Hamas attacked Israel killing more than a thousand civilians and taking more than a hundred people hostage.
The foreign minister is on a tour of the region to meet with powerful militant groups in Iraq, Lebanon and Syria to mobilize support against long-time foe Israel.
Speaking to journalists after meeting with his Lebanese counterparts, Amir-Abdollahian said actions taken by Hamas over the weekend were in response to policies of Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli Prime Minister, an avid critic of the ruling clerical regime in Iran.
“If these organized war crimes that are committed by the Zionist entity don’t stop immediately, then we can imagine any possibility,” said Amir-Abdollahian.
The statement comes after both Iran’s ruler, Ali Khamenei, and President Ebrahim Raisi extended congratulatory remarks praising Hamas for its “courage and bravery” after their air land and sea attack on Israel.
Iran is a supporter of Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza, though it has denied involvement in the recent attacks on Israel. The Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal have quoted sources who have said that Iran is complicit in the Hamas attacks.
The visit comes amid growing international concerns that the war could spread to Lebanon’s border and the wider Middle East given high animosity and tensions in the region.