Feb 13, 2024 08:24 UTC
  • Iran FM: Expansion of Israel’s war crimes to Rafah will have serious consequences for regime

Iran's foreign minister has issued a stern warning over Israel's planned ground invasion of the city of Rafah in southern Gaza Strip, saying it will have serious consequences for the regime.

Hossein Amir-Abdollahian made the remark in a Monday post on X social media platform.

"The expansion of the occupying Israeli regime’s war crimes and genocide to include Palestinian refugees in Rafah will have serious consequences for Tel Aviv," he said.

His comment came after earlier in the day, at least 100 civilians, mostly women and children, were killed and nearly 230 others wounded in extensive air raids and artillery strikes by the Israeli regime against Rafah.

The aggression came as more than 1.4 million people, about five times Rafah's usual population, have fled to the city amid Israel's genocide in the Gaza Strip, which has killed upwards of 28,300 Palestinians since its commencement on October 7, 2023.

Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, ordered the Israeli military on Friday to prepare to evacuate civilians from Rafah ahead of a planned ground operation against the city. Aid organizations, however, say such a move will be nearly impossible, given the scale of devastation elsewhere in Gaza and the huge number of people trapped in the besieged area.

“US provides Israel with weapons to massacre Palestinians”

Iran's foreign minister also met with his Qatari counterpart, Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani, on Monday.

Amir-Abdollahian is currently in Doha on the third leg of a regional tour, which has already taken him to Lebanon and Syria.

Referring to Israel’s threat about launching an all-out ground invasion on Rafah, Iran's foreign minister said, “The US administration talks about preventing the spread of war in the region, but at the same time, continues to provide the Israeli regime with weapons and military equipment to massacre Palestinians.”

“It is possible to achieve an agreement and find a political solution to the war in Gaza, provided that the US could make a choice in action and not just in words between continuation of war and [establishment of] ceasefire [in Gaza],” Amir-Abdollahian said.

Praising Qatar’s diplomatic efforts, which are aimed at putting an end to the Israeli onslaught on Gaza, Iran's top diplomat said, “The US administration lacks necessary integrity to help achievement of a political solution in order to stop the [Israeli genocidal] war on Gaza.”

He said Palestinian resistance groups have already proven their goodwill and commitment to a political solution.

“However, it is clear that Netanyahu still gives priority to war and the US administration also supports [continuation of] the war in practice, while talking about [the necessity of] peace and ceasefire,” Amir-Abdollahian said.

The Qatari foreign minister, for his part, praised Iran's active diplomacy in support of Palestine and sustainable security in the region.

He said Qatar shares Iran's views about the need to put a rapid end to the war in Gaza, and its diplomatic efforts will continue to that effect.

"Ground invasion of Rafah will cause humanitarian catastrophe"

Also on Monday, Iranian Foreign Ministry's spokesman Nasser Kan'ani warned that the Israeli regime's aggression against Rafah and a ground invasion of the city could result in "another humanitarian catastrophe and war crime against the defenseless Palestinian people."

He added that invasion of Rafah is not only in conflict with and disruptive of ongoing talks on a potential ceasefire, but also contravenes an interim ruling by the International Court of Justice, which ordered Israel last month to act immediately to prevent genocide in Gaza.

Such an invasion, Kan'ani said, serves as "a proof to sinister intentions of Zionists who have repeatedly violated all the international legal norms with the purpose of discrediting them."

“If the United States and other Western allies of Zionists are honest in their expressions of concern about the security and stability of the region, it is now time to take immediate action to put a leash on the maniacal behavior of the Zionist regime’s officials who are massacring the defenseless people of Palestine,” the spokesman said.

Kan'ani then drew the attention of international organizations, governments, and the world's public opinion to the concerning consequences of the Israeli regime's military aggression against Rafah.

He asserted that international bodies, topped by the United Nations, are responsible for preventing continuation of the Zionist regime’s onslaught on the Gaza Strip and further worsening of the ongoing humanitarian crisis there.