Iranian FM: Any major escalation in Lebanon will mark Netanyahu’s ‘last day’

Hossein Amir-Abdollahian claims Tehran uninterested in war, involved in talks with Saudis to end Gaza fighting; US asked Iran to keep Hezbollah out of full-on war with Israel

Iran's Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian speaks during a press conference with his Lebanese counterpart in Beirut on February 10, 2024. (Anwar AMRO / AFP)
Iran's Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian speaks during a press conference with his Lebanese counterpart in Beirut on February 10, 2024. (Anwar AMRO / AFP)

Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian warned Israel against taking any steps towards a broader war against its proxy, the Hezbollah terror group in Lebanon, saying that would be Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s “last day.”

At a news conference with his Lebanese counterpart Abdallah Bou Habib in Beirut, he also said Iran saw a political solution as the only way to end the ongoing Israel-Hamas war.

“Iran and Lebanon confirm that war is not the solution and that we absolutely never sought to expand it,” Amir-Abdollahian said.

He also said Tehran was in talks with Saudi Arabia on a political solution to hostilities in Gaza.

Hamas this week proposed a ceasefire of four and a half months, during which remaining hostages held by Hamas would go free, Israel would withdraw its troops from Gaza, and an agreement would be reached on an end to the war. It also demand the release of hundreds of Palestinian prisoners serving life sentences in Israeli jails for terror attacks.

Netanyahu called the Hamas terms “delusional” and vowed to fight on. But Amir-Abdollahian said Hamas was presenting ideas based on a “realistic view,” and that they should be widely backed to end the war.

This handout picture provided by Hezbollah’s media office on February 10, 2024 shows Lebanese Shiite terror group’s leader, Hassan Nasrallah, meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian at an undisclosed location in Lebanon. (Photo by Hezbollah’s Media Office / AFP)

Iran, which does not recognize Israel and whose leaders have openly called for its destruction, was one of the first countries to hail the murderous Hamas assault on southern communities on October 7, when terrorists massacred some 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and kidnapped 253 hostages to Gaza.

Tehran provides military support to Gazan terror groups Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, in addition to its Lebanese proxy Hezbollah.

During his visit, Amir-Abdollahian also met Lebanon’s caretaker prime minister and parliament speaker, and Hezbollah’s chief Hassan Nasrallah.

Hezbollah published pictures from the meeting with Nasrallah that took place in an undisclosed location. The terror group said the two discussed developments in Gaza, the situation in southern Lebanon — where Hezbollah has traded fire daily with Israel across the border since Hamas’s October 7 massacre — and other fronts on the “axis of resistance.”

The conflict has rippled across the region and earlier this month Washington staged strikes against Iran-aligned groups in Iraq, Syria, and Yemen in retaliation for a deadly attack on US troops in Jordan.

Later at a press conference capping off the visit, Amir-Abdollahian said that Iran and the United States have exchanged messages throughout the war, including about its proxy Hezbollah.

“During this war and in the recent weeks, there was an exchange of messages between Iran and America,” he said through a translator.

He said the United States had asked Tehran to request Hezbollah, which is backed by Iran, “not to get widely, fully involved in this war against” Israel.

Amir-Abdollahian is set to travel on to Syria, according to Syrian media, and will meet top officials there.

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