Those who threaten Iran should know that any “foolish move” will face a “devastating response”, Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani said in response to accusations it is behind the current battles between Hamas and Israel, ISNA reported.
Several foreign media and politicians from Western countries have pointed the finger at Iran for the scale and sophistication of the Hamas operation in the south. Fears are growing for scores of Israeli men, women, and children held hostage in Gaza by militants who broke down the fence separating it from Israel.
Kanaani warned about the legal consequences of such threatening remarks against a member of the international community and the United Nations.
“The Islamic Republic’s hands have never been tied in defending its national security and the rights of its nation and has always acted in a definitive manner and caused [the aggressors'] regret,” he said at a press briefing on October 9.
The Palestinian resistance group Hamas launched a surprise assault on Israel on October 7, with a heavy barrage of rockets fired from the Gaza Strip, as well as gunmen crossing into several Israeli towns, shooting and taking hundreds hostage.
A day later, Israel formally declared a state of war and began retaliatory strikes against Hamas targets in Gaza, while gun battles continued between security forces and Palestinian fighters in southern Israel.
On October 8, the Wall Street Journal reported that Iran had helped plan the Hamas attack and gave the final green light after months of preparation.
Kanaani immediately denied the accusation, saying Iran has no role in decision-making by any regional party, including the Palestinian nation.
“So far as we are concerned, we consider the resistance of Palestinian people legitimate,” he said .
He said such claims are made with different political motives and aim to justify Tel Aviv’s crushing defeat, as well as Western support of the occupiers and Israel’s adventurism.
Iran’s efforts, however, are focused on mobilising Islamic countries’ support of the Palestinian nation’s inalienable rights, he stressed, which echoes comments from other officials, including President Ebrahim Raisi, who made a speech a day earlier.
Iran's mission to the United Nations added on October 8 on social media that Tehran was not involved in the attack on Israel.
“We emphatically stand in unflinching support of Palestine; however, we are not involved in Palestine's response, as it is taken solely by Palestine itself,” the mission said in a statement.
"The resolute measures taken by Palestine constitute a wholly legitimate defence against seven decades of oppressive occupation and heinous crimes committed by the illegitimate Zionist regime,” it added.
US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken has said on October 9 Washington has not yet seen evidence that Iran directed or was behind this particular attack, “but there is certainly a long relationship”.
Some Republican leaders, however, including Republican Senator Lyndsey Graham, have pointed to Iran as a cause of the attack and called for repercussions on Tehran.
Graham said on the social media website X, formerly Twitter, that “Iran should pay dearly for any escalation directed at Israel”.
“An attack by Hezbollah, and other Iranian proxies would be devastating to Israeli defence systems. If such an attack occurs, Israel and the United States should go after the Iranian oil refineries and oil infrastructure – which is the lifeblood of the Iranian economy,” he added.
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