Israel will face annihilation if the war against Hamas “expands,” a senior Iranian official warned as Israel Defense Forces attack the terrorist group by land and air in Gaza.

“If the war expands [any further], we cannot say that Israel would lose, because nothing will remain of Israel to be described as loser or winner,” Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Ali Bagheri Kani said, per Iran’s Fars News Agency.

Kani, whose diplomatic portfolio includes a role as Iran’s lead nuclear negotiator, offered that prediction just days after meeting with a senior Hamas official during a trip to Russia. Iranian proxy forces around the Middle East have launched various strikes targeting Israeli positions, as Iran and Hamas demand that Israel halt its bombardment of Gaza, the headquarters of Hamas.

“Our armed forces launched a large batch of ballistic and cruise missiles, as well as a lot of drones at various enemy targets on Israel-occupied territories,” Houthi spokesman Yahya Saria said Tuesday, according to a Russian state media translation.

The Houthis are a Yemen-based militant group that stormed the capital in 2014 and have fought a civil war against the central government and its Saudi-led coalition of military supporters. An American guided missile destroyer in the Red Sea intercepted several missiles and drones fired by the Houthis on Oct.19, as U.S. naval forces in the region try to discourage Iran from activating its proxy network to intervene, while Iranian officials increase their threats to escalate the war if Israel continues its attacks.

“We are witnessing a gradual increase in reactions as well as the escalation and spread of the scope of conflicts in the region,” Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian told his counterpart in Qatar, according to the Iranian Foreign Ministry. “It is natural that resistance factions and movements will not remain silent in the face of all these crimes and the United States’s full support for the Zionist regime, and they will not wait for advice from anyone.”

The foreign minister also met with a senior Hamas official in Qatar on Tuesday. The potential expansion of the conflict has loomed as an alarming prospect since the first days after Iran-backed Hamas terrorists rampaged across southern Israel, not least due to the entrenchment of Hezbollah on Israel’s border with Lebanon. Yet such an intervention would be costly for Iran.

“Hezbollah was not created to bail out other proxies. Hezbollah … is mostly there as a conventional deterrence against Israel to prevent or respond to any overt attack by Israel on Iran’s nuclear program,” Foundation for Defense of Democracies senior fellow Behnam Ben Taleblu told the Washington Examiner. “It’s not designed to be expended to save Hamas.”

Hamas ignited the conflict on Oct. 7 when terrorists broke through the Gaza border fence and rampaged across southern Israel. The terrorists massacred more than 1,400 people and left another 5,400 wounded, according to Israeli officials, with an estimated 243 people missing or taken hostage into Gaza. Iranian officials have celebrated the attack as a blow to the U.S.-supported negotiations to normalize diplomatic relations between Israel and Saudi Arabia.

“The Zionist and U.S. plot with regard to Israel’s normalization with the countries of the region has been disrupted by virtue of the Al-Aqsa Flood,” Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps deputy commander in chief Ali Fadavi said on Oct. 17.

Kani, the Iranian deputy foreign minister, met with Hamas’s Abu Marzook after arriving in Moscow on Thursday.

“Tehran’s priorities in talks with foreign sides are declaring an immediate ceasefire, providing aid to people, and lifting the repressive blockade of Gaza,” the Iranian Embassy in Russia said after the meeting.

Source » washingtonexaminer