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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Iran vows to ignore US warnings on Israel

Washington’s demand that Tehran keep out of the conflict with Hamas is “invalid,” President Ebrahim Raisi has said

Tehran will ignore US warnings not to intervene in the Hamas-Israel conflict, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi has said. He also blasted the West over alleged reluctance to help end the hostilities.

In an interview with Qatar-based Al Jazeera on Saturday, Raisi said that Washington “is asking us not to move while providing broad support to the Zionist entity… This is an invalid demand.”

Read more: Iran warns US of ‘new fronts’ in Middle East

The Iranian president also claimed that Israel’s expanded ground operations in Gaza were a failure, describing it as “the second victory [for Palestinians] following [the launch of] Operation al-Aqsa Storm,” referring to the initial surprise attack by Hamas on Israel on October 7.

He also said that the United States had sent messages to the ‘Axis of Resistance’ – referring to an informal alliance of anti-Western and anti-Israel forces in the Middle East – and “received a practical and public answer on the ground.”

Raisi went on to accuse the US and some unnamed European countries of “obstructing the ceasefire in Gaza,” calling such policies “a crime.” He added that “the United States’ calculations in the region are completely wrong, and said it will not achieve its goals with a new Middle East,” stressing that Tehran’s support for the Palestinians “is not subject to compromise.”

Read more: Iran ‘trained Hamas fighters’ ahead of attack on Israel – WSJ

After the Hamas attack on Israel earlier this month, US President Joe Biden pledged unconditional support for Israel while warning Iran to be “careful.” At the same time, he stopped short of backing a cessation of hostilities, with several US media outlets reporting that the State Department had distributed a memo to its diplomats advising them to avoid calling for “de-escalation” or a “ceasefire” in Gaza.

Publicly, Biden has said that ceasefire talks cannot begin until Hamas releases more than 200 hostages. Meanwhile, on Monday, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell called for a “humanitarian pause” in the conflict, saying he believed there was consensus among the bloc’s members on the matter.

Raisi’s comments come after Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian warned the US that “new fronts will be opened up” against Washington if it does not change its policies in the Middle East, including its unequivocal support for Israel.