The speaker of the Iranian parliament said early this week that an Israeli ground offensive into the Gaza Strip would have dire consequences. Parliament Speaker Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf said that such an action would “open the gates of Hell” and potentially expand the current Middle East conflict.
The Iranian official made the comments during a meeting with the Parliamentary Union of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.
“The blockade of Gaza and cutting off the supply of water, electricity, medicine and food to this area is a clear example of genocide,” Qalibaf said. “In addition, the use of non-conventional military weapons such as banned phosphorus bombs in these attacks violates international conventions on the prohibition of chemical weapons.”
Israel denied using white phosphorous as an offensive weapon.
Iran is the chief sponsor of a number of terrorist and militant groups across the region, including Hamas, which carried out the attacks that killed more than 1,300 people in southern Israel earlier this month. Iran is also a key supporter of the Lebanese group Hezbollah, which killed 241 American Marines in a 1983 Beirut bombing.
Separately, the country’s foreign minister threatened Israel with a “huge earthquake” if the war expanded into nearby Lebanon.
Additional steps we must take to destroy Hamas and support Israel:
-Iran sanctions for funding and arming Hamas
-Enforce existing sanctions on Iranian oil
-More interceptors for Israel’s Iron Dome
-More precision-guided munitions
-More ammunition rounds
— Rep. Jim Jordan (@Jim_Jordan) October 16, 2023
Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian told a United Nations envoy that Iran would likely intervene should the conflict expand to Israel’s northern neighbor.
“I know about the scenarios that Hezbollah has put in place,” he said. “Any step the resistance will take will cause a huge earthquake in the Zionist entity.”
“I want to warn the war criminals and those who support this entity before it’s too late to stop the crimes against civilians in Gaza, because it might be too late in few hours,” the foreign minister continued.
The statements come as Israel has warned Iran over its potential involvement in the massive attack. The United States has stated that Iran supported groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah but was still researching its exact role in the Oct. 7 attacks.