Gaza conflict may spin out of control – Tehran
Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian has accused the US of waging a “proxy war against Palestinians” and warned of dire consequences if the bombardment of Gaza is not stopped and Israel launches a ground assault.
Speaking at a press conference with his South African counterpart Naledi Pandor in Tehran on Sunday, the Iranian diplomat said it was a “bitter and unfortunate reality” that US President Joe Biden made an “extraordinary wartime visit” to Tel Aviv this week to show support for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government amid the bombardment of the Palestinian enclave and a lack of humanitarian aid.
“It’s a great shame that the American president announced that the US would dispatch hundreds of planes, ships and trucks filled with military equipment to the occupied territories to support the mass murder that Israel is committing in Gaza but has managed to coordinate plans for only 20 trucks carrying humanitarian aid to enter the besieged enclave,” he noted.
Amir-Abdollahian called the situation in the region a “powder keg” and warned of “heavy and bitter consequences.”
“If the US and the Israeli regime do not stop their crimes against humanity immediately, there will be a possibility of anything at any moment and the region may spin out of control,” Amir-Abdollahian argued.
Speaking to ABC News on Sunday, US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin also warned of “the prospect of a significant escalation." He vowed to do everything necessary to protect the American forces stationed in the region, and continue Washington’s support for its longtime ally Israel.
Israel began a wave of airstrikes on Gaza on October 7, after Hamas and other Palestinian militant groups launched a surprise incursion into its territory, killing 1,400 people, mostly civilians. Since the start of the conflict, more than 4,600 Palestinians have died, according to Gaza health authorities.