Israel Palestine Conflict

Iran says ‘preemptive action’ against Israel possible in coming hours

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Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said on Monday that a “preemptive action” against Israel was possible in the coming hours.

Iran-backed militant groups in the region “will not allow the Zionist regime (Israel) to do whatever it wants in Gaza ... therefore any preemptive action is possible in the coming hours,” Amir-Abdollahian said in a live interview broadcast on state TV late on Monday.

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When asked if Iran would “go to war,” he replied: “Every possibility is conceivable.”

“No party should be indifferent to the crimes being committed in Gaza,” Amir-Abdollahian added.

Iran’s top diplomat said that failing to defend Gaza now will lead to Iran having to defend against Israeli attacks in its own cities in the future.

“If we do not defend Gaza today, tomorrow we will have to defend against (Israeli) bombs in our own cities.”

Israel declared war on the Palestinian militant group Hamas a day after waves of its fighters breached Gaza’s heavily fortified border with Israel on October 7, killing 1,300 people, most of them civilians.

Israel has responded with relentless air and artillery strikes on Gaza that have killed more than 2,800 people, mostly civilians.

Tehran, a key source of financial and military support for Hamas and other militant groups in the region, has praised the October 7 Hamas attack while denying any involvement in its planning or execution.

Earlier on Monday, Amir-Abdollahian said in a post on the social media platform X that “time is running out for political solutions” to the ongoing conflict.

He added that he told his counterparts in Malaysia, Pakistan and Tunisia that the “probable spread of war to other fronts is approaching an inevitable stage.”

Israel has long accused Iran of exacerbating violence by supplying arms to Hamas. Tehran refuses to recognize Israel and has made support for the Palestinian cause a fundamental component of its foreign policy since the Islamic Revolution of 1979.

For years, Iran and Israel have engaged in a covert conflict, with Iran accusing Israel of orchestrating sabotage attacks and assassinations targeting its nuclear program.

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