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Source: The Telegraph

Oct 30, 2023

Iran says Gaza attack 'may force everyone' to act, as Saudi minister to hold talks with Joe Biden

Israel has 'crossed the red lines', Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi said, in the latest of a series of threats

By Abbie Cheeseman

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi warned that Israel’s attack on Gaza “may force everyone” to act, after ground troops and tanks entered the territory.

“The crimes of the Zionist regime have crossed the red lines, and this may force everyone to take action,” Raisi said, in the latest of a series of threats about Iranian proxy forces in the region.

“Washington asks us to not do anything, but they keep giving widespread support to Israel,” he added.

It came as the Saudi deputy defence minister was reported to be travelling to Washington on Sunday for talks with senior Biden administration officials.

It will be the first meeting of the two nations since Mohammed bin Salman snubbed the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken by leaving him waiting overnight for a meeting in the aftermath of the attacks on Gaza.

Saudi Arabia, which had been in US-brokered negotiations over a normalisation deal with Israel before the attacks, will probably want to use the meeting as a bid to stop the war from spilling over into regional conflict.

On Saturday, Riyadh, one of the most staunch supporters of the Palestinian cause, condemned the widening attacks on Gaza.

The Middle East has been sitting on the precipice of regional war since the latest Israeli-Hamas conflict broke out.

Iran’s most powerful proxy force, Hezbollah, has been exchanging tit-for-tat fire across the border since the war began, but has mostly kept its involvement contained.

It is not clear what Hezbollah’s red lines are for entering the war, but as the conflict drags on, analysts believe they will step in if Hamas faces significant military depletion.

“The US sent messages to the Axis of Resistance but received a clear response on the battlefield,” Raisi added, using a term often used to refer to Iran and its allies like Lebanon’s Hezbollah, Yemen’s Houthis, and other Shiite forces in Iraq and Syria.

Israel has expanded its ground invasion into Gaza, carrying out its heaviest bombardment of the three-week old war under the cover of darkness after taking out Gaza’s telecommunications.

The US’s “widespread” support for Israel has not only angered Iran, which backs Hamas, but much of the Arab world, including some of its closest regional allies, such as Saudi Arabia and Jordan.

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