(Headline USA) Iran’s top envoy warned on Monday of “preemptive action” against Israel if the Jewish state continues to retaliate against Hamas in the Gaza Strip after Hamas launched a terrorist attack in Israel on Oct. 7.
“Leaders of the Resistance will not allow the Zionist regime to take any action in Gaza,” Iran Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian said on state TV Monday, according to Reuters’s translation. “All options are open, and we cannot be indifferent to the war crimes committed against the people of Gaza.”
The Iranian official warned that the “resistance front is capable of waging a long-term war with the enemy,” referring to Israel.
“In the coming hours, we can expect a preemptive action by the resistance front,” he added.
The comments were made just hours after Iranian state media reported that Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi told Russian President Vladimir Putin that Iran was preparing for the “possibility of the conflict between Israel and Palestinians expanding to other fronts.”
Iran has celebrated Hamas’s attack on Israel but claimed the longtime financial backer of Mid-East terrorism was not directly involved.
A Wall Street Journal report last week, however, revealed Iranian officials directly coordinated with the terrorist group in the weeks leading up to the attack.
The Israeli military was also preparing for a potential attack from Hezbollah, a terrorist organization based in Lebanon. Hezbollah joining the war would dramatically escalate the conflict.
The White House has reportedly discussed using U.S. military force if the conflict does turn into a multi-front war, according to Axios. But at this point, the Biden administration has only sent public and private messages to Hezbollah and Iran through third parties, warning them not to intervene.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken reiterated this message during a meeting with Arab leaders in the region last week, saying the U.S. is “not fooling around.”