Both Walla and Axios have reported from their diplomatic sources that Iranian officials conveyed a message to Israel through U.N envoys that a potential Iranian intervention into the conflict between Israeli military forces and Hamas/Gaza militant factions could happen if IDF operations continue in Gaza. Iran reportedly stressed it did not want to see further escalation, but would be forced to intervene if the fighting continues.
Whether Iran would further back militants in Syria, Iraq, Gaza, or continue to support Hezbollah in Lebanon in an expanded manner is unclear. However regardless it would likely turn the Gaza War into a regional conflict.
This came after previously the Iran Foreign Minister also said Iran-backed Hezbollah, a Shia Islamist militant group/party based out of Lebanon, would cause an “earthquake” in Israel during several prepared scenarios of escalation.
“Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian met with UN envoy to the Middle East Tor Wennesland on Saturday in Beirut, the two diplomatic sources said.
Wennesland urged Amir-Abdollahian to help prevent a spillover of the conflict in Gaza and Israel to the wider region in the Middle East.
The Iranian foreign minister replied that Iran doesn’t want the conflict to turn into a regional war and wants to try to help with the release of civilians who are being held hostage by Hamas in Gaza.
But Amir-Abdollahian stressed that Iran has its red lines. He said that if the Israeli military operation continues — and especially if Israel follows through on its promise of a ground offensive in Gaza — Iran will have to respond, according to the sources.
Israeli national security adviser Tzachi Hanegbi and other officials and conveyed Iran’s message, the sources said.
Wennesland’s office confirmed he met with Amir-Abdollahian on Saturday, saying they discussed “diplomatic efforts to release hostages, de-escalate and prevent a spillover of the conflict to the wider region.”
The Israeli Prime Minister’s Office declined to comment. Iran’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Amir-Abdollahian, who earlier met with Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah, said in a briefing with reporters in Beirut on Saturday that Israel must “stop the crimes against civilians in Gaza — because it might be too late in a few hours.”
“I know about the scenarios that Hezbollah has put in place,” Amir-Abdollahian said. “Any step the resistance will take will cause a huge earthquake” for Israel.”