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6 Nov, 2023 00:14

US will be ‘hit hard’ if no ceasefire in Gaza – Iran’s defense chief

Tehran has accused Washington of fueling the conflict in the Middle East
US will be ‘hit hard’ if no ceasefire in Gaza – Iran’s defense chief

The US will face grave consequences if the hostilities in Gaza are not brought to an end, Iran’s defense minister warned on Sunday.

“Our advice to the Americans is to immediately stop the war in Gaza and implement a ceasefire, otherwise they will be hit hard,” Mohammad-Reza Ashtiani said, as cited by IRNA.

Iran has been calling for an end to the bloodshed in the Palestinian enclave and has repeatedly accused Washington of fueling tensions in the Middle East since Israel began its military operation in Gaza following an unprecedented surprise attack by Hamas that left around 1,400 Israelis, mostly civilians, dead.

Earlier on Sunday, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani said Israel was committing “war crimes and genocide” with the “full support” of the US government.

“Israel’s criminal acts, fully supported by the United States, portray the arrogant spirit of Washington which incited hatred among nations across the world,” Kanaani said, according to Press TV.

Washington has refused to call for a full ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, opting for a “humanitarian pause” instead. The Pentagon has shipped additional weapons to the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and dispatched a naval armada to the western Mediterranean Sea to show support for Israel.

Israel and the US, meanwhile, are accusing Iran of orchestrating the Hamas attacks on Israeli civilians and supplying the group with weapons. The Pentagon also said that Iran has backed militias which have conducted drone and rocket attacks on US bases in the Middle East. Tehran has endorsed Hamas’ deadly October 7 incursion into Israel, but claimed that it was an “entirely Palestinian” raid.

Israel responded to the incursion by imposing a blockade on Gaza and striking what it says are Hamas-linked targets. More than 9,000 Palestinians, including thousands of women and children, have been killed, according to the Hamas-run local authorities.