Two diplomatic sources with knowledge of the issue told Axios that Iran delivered a message to Israel on Saturday emphasizing that it does not want the Hamas-Israel war to go further and that it will have to step in if the Israeli assault in Gaza continues.
If Iran becomes involved in the conflict between Israel and Hamas, either directly or indirectly through a militant group in Syria or by supporting Hezbollah’s choice to join the combat, it will escalate into a regional conflict.
Iran’s message to Israel via the UN was conveyed at the same time that the Biden administration was attempting to dissuade Iran and Iran-backed Hezbollah in Lebanon from joining the conflict. The United States dispatched fighter jets and an aircraft carrier group to the area this week.
According to two diplomatic sources, UN ambassador to the Middle East Tor Wennesland met with Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian on Saturday in Beirut.
Wennesland implored Amir-Abdollahian to assist in averting the crisis between Israel and Gaza from spreading to other parts of the Middle East.
In response, the Iranian foreign minister stated that Iran hopes to assist in the freeing of Gazan civilians who are being held captive by Hamas and does not want the situation to escalate into a regional war.
Amir-Abdollahian emphasized, however, that Iran has its boundaries. He stated that Iran will have to react if the Israeli military action goes on, particularly if Israel keeps its word and launches a ground invasion in Gaza.
According to the sources, Wennesland called Tzachi Hanegbi, the Israeli national security adviser, and other officials to deliver Iran’s message.
Amir-Abdollahian and Wennesland met on Saturday, according to Wennesland’s office, and they talked about “diplomatic efforts to release hostages, de-escalate and prevent a spillover of the conflict to the wider region.”
The office of the Israeli prime minister chose not to respond. A request for comment was not immediately answered by Iran’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
In a meeting with media in Beirut on Saturday, Amir-Abdollahian, who had earlier met with Hassan Nasrallah, the head of Hezbollah, stated that Israel had to “stop the crimes against civilians in Gaza — because it might be too late in a few hours.”
“I am aware of the plans that Hezbollah has established,” Amir-Abdollahian declared. “Any step the resistance will take will cause a huge earthquake” for the nation of Israel.
Israel and Hamas started fighting again on October 7.
After Hamas attacked Israel last Saturday, Israel has kept up its intense bombardment of the Gaza Strip. Along the Israel-Lebanon border and in the occupied West Bank, there has also been an increase in violence.
There have been 2,200 Palestinian deaths and almost 1,300 Israeli deaths.