Gaza war scope will grow if Hamas-Israel truce doesn't last: Iran FM
Iran's Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian warned on Wednesday that the scope of Israel's brutal war in Gaza would expand unless a truce between Israel and Hamas lasts, in an interview as he visited Beirut.
"If this ceasefire starts tomorrow, if it does not continue, the conditions in the region will not remain the same as before the ceasefire and the scope of the war will expand," Amir-Abdollahian told the Beirut-based Al-Mayadeen television channel, according to Iran's Fars news agency.
"We do not seek to expand the scope of the war," he added, saying: "If the intensity of the war increases, every possibility is conceivable for the expansion of the scope of the war."
Hamas could be on the verge of releasing dozens of hostages from Gaza after the Palestinian group's leader, along with key mediator Qatar, said a truce deal with Israel was in sight— The New Arab (@The_NewArab) November 21, 2023
This marks the most optimistic yet of a potential breakthrough in the war ⬇ pic.twitter.com/nDNdUUy0Mi
Israel and Hamas said on Wednesday they had agreed on a four-day truce in the Gaza war during which the Palestinian group would free at least 50 of the hostages taken on October 7 amid a surprise attack on Israel.
The truce will also make way for the arrival of much-needed relief in the Gaza Strip, which has been battered by Israeli bombardment and a siege - which has cut off food, water and fuel supplies to the territory's 2.3 million residents.
In turn, Israel would release at least 150 Palestinian prisoners - most of whom are women and children under the age of 19 -. A list was published earlier today by the Israeli Ministry of Justice of 300 Palestinian prisoners eligible for release.
Amir-Abdollahian said Iran saw two options: "First, a humanitarian ceasefire that turns into a permanent ceasefire."
"The second way is to threaten the Palestinian people, then the Palestinian people will decide for themselves," he said, adding that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin "Netanyahu cannot fulfil his dream of destroying Hamas."
"We support whatever decision Hamas makes," he added in the interview, according to Fars.