Iran's engagement in Gaza conflict: Hezbollah's response hinges on Israel's adherence to truce

Press Highlights
2023-11-25 | 01:27
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Iran's engagement in Gaza conflict: Hezbollah's response hinges on Israel's adherence to truce
Iran's engagement in Gaza conflict: Hezbollah's response hinges on Israel's adherence to truce

The goals of Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian's visit to Beirut and Doha are twofold: First, to discuss the possibility of turning the temporary truce into a permanent cessation of hostilities. 

This article was originally published in and translated from Lebanese newspaper Nidaa al-Watan.

Second, to address the potential resumption of Israeli aggression on Gaza after the ceasefire expires. In both cases, there was an Iranian warning and a caution from Lebanon to Doha, which received messages and reciprocated with others.

Similar to the beginning of the Israeli aggression on Gaza, the Iranian Foreign Minister visited Beirut twice in a few weeks. 

The first visit focused on conveying the war atmosphere and understanding the resistance situation, while the second visit addressed the communications that led to the temporary truce. 

In both cases, it reflects Iran's significant interest and active involvement in closely monitoring the Israeli war on Gaza. Since the first day of the war, Iran has been closely following and actively participating in efforts to achieve respite, as it did in the attempts to halt the aggression.

Diplomatic sources told Nidaa al-Watan that Abdollahian's visit is part of coordinating positions with countries and allies regarding the options presented in the next stage of efforts to transform the temporary truce into a ceasefire or if Israel resumes its aggression against Gaza after the truce phase. 

The last point of discussion and concern revolves around Israel's internal positions advocating for the continuation of the war on Gaza until the elimination of Hamas, as reiterated by the Israeli Foreign Minister.

During his meetings, Abdollahian conveyed Iran's position that sees the temporary ceasefire as insufficient. 

He emphasized that a ceasefire would prevent the expansion of the war to other fronts, mentioning the existence of new fronts that remain unknown but could be activated if the other party fails to stop the war, necessitating the stabilization of the ceasefire and its transformation into a permanent and continuous cessation of hostilities.

The most crucial meetings were those between the senior Iranian diplomat and Palestinian factions, including Hamas and Islamic Jihad, both in Lebanon and Doha. 

The purpose of these meetings was to "reaffirm Iran's support for the resistance, demonstrate the strength of the relationship, and showcase unity against Israeli confusion in dealing with the ceasefire and its aftermath."

Iran rejects any proposed solutions for the post-war stage in Gaza, considering itself part of the international and regional communications on the Palestinian issue. 

The diplomatic sources mention ideas, such as the deployment of international forces or the re-entry of the Palestinian Authority into Gaza, which Iran deems impractical and would prevent Israel from achieving politically what it failed to achieve militarily.

Abdollahian portrayed these proposals as "illogical" during his discussions with Lebanese officials and Palestinian factions, reiterating that Iran does not accept external solutions imposed on the Palestinians and the people of Gaza. 

In Iranian dealings, similar to Western approaches, Lebanon serves as a gateway for conveying messages to the other party. Therefore, the Iranian Foreign Minister directed more than one message to the United States, considering it the official "sponsor" of the Israeli war on Gaza. 

Therefore, "if the US wants to prevent the expansion of the war, the truce must be transformed into a complete cessation of fire," a goal being pursued in coordination with the Qataris.

The discussions also touched on the Lebanese situation related to the southern front, which "moved spontaneously due to the Israeli aggression on Gaza. It is assumed that this front should experience a similar calm to that in Gaza."

However, there is an additional factor related to the southern front that the Iranian envoy stressed, associated with Israeli behavior. 

"As long as it is committed to the truce and does not violate it from the northern border, Hezbollah will naturally enter the direction of calm, given that the purpose for which this front moved has been achieved, but any renewed attack on Lebanese soil, will be met with a response in return."

The essence of the message conveyed by Abdollahian to the Qatari side emphasizes that: "As long as the Israeli adheres to this truce, it will inevitably apply to the southern front. The stability of the southern Lebanese front is linked to Israeli behavior, and as long as it is deterred, the front will not be 'moved,' and if the opposite happens, it means opening the front from its 'wide door.'"

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