Iran FM: US warnings to Hezbollah won’t make group ‘cautious in its decision-making’

Amir-Abdollahian says American warships near “our region” makes US vulnerable to possible strikes

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Iran’s top diplomat has said Washington’s warnings to Lebanese Hezbollah would not make the group backed by Tehran for decades “cautious in its decision-making” on the Gaza war.

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian also disclosed that the US and Iran had been indirectly speaking about the Gaza war since Hamas carried out its Oct. 7 attack on Israel, the deadliest Israel has ever witnessed.

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“Over the past 40 days, messages have been exchanged between Iran and the US via the US interests section at the Swiss embassy in Tehran,” the Iranian diplomat said in a recent interview.

Days after the Hamas attack, the US military rushed assets back into the Middle East after recently withdrawing them to focus on other parts of the world, most notably the Indo-Pacific.

Thousands of American service members were also deployed alongside warships and fighter jets in what the Pentagon repeatedly said was meant to deter Iran and the militias it backs from opening new fronts against Israel.

But Amir-Abdollahian said his country told the US it did not want any escalation of violation in the Middle East.

“We said that Iran does not want the war to spread, but due to the approach adopted by the US and Israel in the region, if the crimes against the people of Gaza and the West Bank are not stopped, any possibility could be considered, and a wider conflict could prove inevitable,” he was quoted telling the Financial Times.

The US also explicitly warned Lebanon’s Hezbollah from attempting to exploit the violence and launch a war on Israel.

The US warnings, Amir-Abdollahian quipped, “would fail to make the resistance group cautious in its decision-making.”

Hezbollah’s secretary-general, Hassan Nasrallah, threatened that his group would be able to target the US aircraft carriers currently docked near the coasts of Lebanon and Israel.

The Iranian foreign minister said that Tehran’s military officials believe the deployment of US aircraft carriers near “our region” makes them “accessible” and is not a strong point for the US.

“Rather, it makes them more vulnerable to possible strikes,” he said.

As for reigning in Hezbollah, designated as a terrorist group by the US and several European and Gulf countries, Amir-Abdollahian claimed that its proxies and other militant groups in Palestine, Iraq, Syria and Yemen made their own decisions.

However, he said, the groups are not indifferent “towards the killing of their Muslim and Arab peers in Palestine.”

Iran provides millions of dollars to Hezbollah and other proxies across the Middle East, according to the State Department. Nasrallah has also pledged allegiance to Iran’s supreme leader and often refers to him during his speeches.

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