Iran's Raisi says Israeli actions 'may force everyone' to act
Tehran (AFP) – Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi on Sunday said Israel's ongoing bombardment of Gaza "may force everyone" to act in the latest warning issued by the Islamic republic since the start of the Israel-Hamas conflict.
Israel has been pounding the tiny Palestinian territory since Hamas gunmen stormed across the border on October 7 and, according to Israeli officials, killed more than 1,400 people, most of them civilians.
Since then, more than 8,000 people have been killed, half of them children, according to the health ministry in Hamas-run Gaza, an impoverished strip of land which is home to 2.4 million people.
"The crimes of the Zionist regime have crossed the red lines, and this may force everyone to take action," Raisi said on X, formerly Twitter, on Sunday.
"Washington asks us to not do anything, but they keep giving widespread support to Israel," he said.
"The US sent messages to the Axis of Resistance but received a clear response on the battlefield," he said, using a term often used by Iranian officials to refer to the Islamic republic and its allies like Lebanon's Hezbollah, Yemen's Huthis and other Shiite forces in Iraq and Syria.
Although it was not immediately clear what he was referring to, there have been a string of attacks on US forces in Iraq and Syria as well as increasing exchanges of fire between Hezbollah and Israeli forces on the Lebanon border since the Gaza conflict began.
Iran, which financially and militarily backs Hamas, hailed the October 7 attacks as a "success".
But it has insisted it was not involved in the onslaught, during which 230 people were also taken hostage, according to Israeli authorities.
"Iran considers it its duty to support the resistance groups, but ... the resistance groups are independent in their opinion, decision, and action," the Iranian president said in an interview with Al Jazeera on Saturday, according to excerpts released by state news agency IRNA.
"The United States knows very well our current capabilities and knows that they are impossible to overcome," he said.