Iran received many messages from the United States in the past six weeks of regional conflict, foreign minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian told Qatar’s Al Jazeera television.
“Americans always emphasized in their messages that they are not after expanding the war. We responded that although you say you are not after expanding the war, but by standing with the Israeli regime and supplying large quantities of weapons and equipment from American bases in the region, you have practically expanded the conflict,” Amir-Abdollahian said. The messages were delivered through the Swiss embassy in Tehran, he said.
The United States deployed two powerful naval strike groups to the region soon after Israel began its attacks on Gaza, after Hamas’ terror attack on October 7. They deployment was seen as deterrence to Iran and its most powerful proxy force, the Lebanese Hezbollah.
Iran avoided direct military involvement in the Gaza war, but its proxy forces launched attacks against US bases in the region and against Israel.
Amir-Abdollahian referred to these attacks in his interview, as “the natural reaction of resistance forces in the region.” He then went on arguing that militant groups in Iraq, Lebanon and elsewhere in the region are genuine anti-US and anti-Israeli popular forces, failing to mention that Iran’s Revolutionary Guard spent vast sums of money to create these groups and support them.
Although the US retaliated several times against the more than 70 attacks on US forces in past weeks, critics argue that deterrence against Iran has failed and Washington needs to target the Revolutionary Guard directly to prevent more attacks.