Iran’s foreign minister has warned that the war in Gaza could lead to a “big explosion” of conflict in the Middle East, with Lebanon and Yemen already “involved” and more countries ready to join.
“At least every week, we receive a message from the US telling us that US bases in Syria and Iraq are being targeted by some groups,” Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian said at the Doha Forum on Monday.
“At any moment there is a possibility of a large explosion in the area, uncontrolled by any party,” he explained through the translator.
The ominous warning follows the US veto of a UN Security Council resolution seeking an immediate ceasefire. US Deputy Permanent Representative Robert A. Wood called the call for an unconditional ceasefire “dangerous” and “a recipe for disaster for Israel, for the Palestinians and for the entire region.” The United Kingdom abstained from voting.
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UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres had issued a letter to the Security Council in a rare use of Article 99 of the body’s charter over concerns of a “collapse of the humanitarian system” in Gaza as Israel continues “intense” fighting in the territory.
Amirabdollahian accused the US of perpetuating the conflict with its support for Israel and the “Zionist regime”. He called the attacks on US troops by Iran’s proxies, the Houthis and Hezbollah, tantamount to “defending the Arab and Muslim people of Gaza.”
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“That is why they are targeting American bases in Syria and Iraq,” the foreign minister claimed, according to The Jerusalem Post.
The militant groups have launched a total of 90 attacks on US bases and troops in the Middle East since October 17 and several attacks on merchant ships in the Red Sea, including the hijacking of a cargo ship earlier this month.
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An umbrella group of Iraqi militants called the Islamic Resistance in Iraq claimed responsibility for the latest attacks, which hit the Al-Asad Air Base in Iraq and the Al-Shaddadi Patrol Base in Syria.
About 2,000 US troops remain in Iraq as part of an agreement with Baghdad as a means of countering the Islamic State group, which continues to operate in the country.
Unlike Lebanon’s Hezbollah group, considered Iran’s most powerful proxy in the region, Iraqi militias have so far played only a limited role in the conflict.
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Several of the president’s Republican critics in Congress have urged the Biden administration to consider redesignating the Houthis as a foreign terrorist organization. The Trump administration applied the designation to the group as one of its final acts, but Biden reversed that decision as one of her first acts in office.
Foreign Secretary Anthony Blinken claimed at the time that the government removed the designation because of concerns it could have a “devastating impact on Yemenis’ access to essential goods such as food and fuel”.
Fox News Digital’s Bradford Betz and Chris Pandolfo contributed to this report.