Iran’s Ayatollah Ali Khamenei gloated Tuesday about the power of Islamic “resistance forces,” cautioning against any expectation Tehran could get involved directly to restrain its proxy groups attacking Israel.
Khamenei warned that Israeli targeting of Gaza and cutting off food and water supplies would justify unstoppable attacks from Palestinian terrorist groups, primarily Hamas, that have continued to launch rockets at cities while Israel gears up for war in a statement posted on X, formerly Twitter. Iranian officials have warned in recent days that escalation would soon become inevitable despite U.S. and Israeli fears other Iran-backed organizations could force Israel into a two-front war.
“If the crimes committed by the Zionist regime continue, no one will be able to stop the Muslims and the Resistance forces,” Khamenei said in the statement. “This should be realized by those who want Iran to stop certain Resistance groups, and they shouldn’t have any expectation from us.”
On Monday, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian warned the “possibility of any preemptive action by Resistance front could be expected in the coming hours,” according to state media. “All options are before Hezbollah,” he said.
Hezbollah, the larger organization in Lebanon that Iran also backs with funding, weapons and other support, launchedrocket attacks on Israel later that day. Israel responded by attacking Hezbollah targets in Lebanon, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said in a statement.
The IDF continues to defend and retaliate against strikes from Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and other anti-Israel groups located in Gaza 11 days after declaring war on Hamas following a bloody and devastating terrorist attack on Israeli soil. Plans for a ground invasion of Gaza were reportedly delayed, according to the Jerusalem Post.
“Time is running out for political solutions; probable spread of war in other fronts is approaching unavoidable stage,” Amirabdollahian said in a statement.
The IDF fears exposing itself to attacks from the north while focusing on its main war aims to rescue hostages and eliminate Hamas in Gaza, the Jerusalem Post reported.
“No matter what the Zionist regime does, it will not be able to compensate for the disgraceful defeat that it has experienced in this matter,” Khamenei said Tuesday, state media reported.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced a humanitarian corridor following seven and one-half hour meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the war cabinet on Monday, which could push the invasion back three more days, according to Jonathan Schanzer from the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.
“This is a stare down right now. Hesitation might be seen as weakness. Also, hard to know if the US is baring its teeth at Iran, or just trying to pull off another hostage deal,” Schanzer wrote.
Micaela Burrow on October 17, 2023