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Islamic Republic Defense Minister: U.S. ‘Will Be Hit Hard’ if No Ceasefire in Gaza

Iranian Defense Minister Mohammad Reza Ashtiani. PressTV.
Iranian Defense Minister Mohammad Reza Ashtiani. PressTV.

Over the weekend, the Islamic Republic of Iran's Minister of Defense told the Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) affiliated Tasnim news media outlet that the United States would "be hit hard" if Washington did not push for a ceasefire in Gaza.

"Our advice to the Americans is to immediately stop the war in Gaza and implement a ceasefire, otherwise, they will be hit hard," Mohammad-Reza Ashtiani said.

The remarks by Ashtiani come as prominent members of the Islamic regime in Tehran have praised Hamas for its terrorist attack against Israel, vowing to support the group.

"The Iranian leadership is trying to deter the U.S. and Israeli actions against Hamas through these statements," said Jason Brodsky, policy director at United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI).

"But more troubling is the lack of fear the Islamic Republic has as its proxies rocket and drone U.S. bases in Iraq and Syria to retaliate for Israel's actions in Gaza," he added.

During the first week of the conflict, Hossein Salami, the IRGC Commander, declared that the people of Palestine are "pursuing and arresting Israeli soldiers without any fear, and Israel can no longer declare victory. Today signifies the end of occupation and aggression, with even the Americans unable to save them."

In Tehran, Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei met with the Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh. According to reports, Haniyeh "briefed Khamenei on the latest developments in the Gaza Strip and the crimes of the Zionist regime in Gaza, as well as the developments in the West Bank."

The Islamic Republic has said that it supports Hamas but did not play any role in the terrorist group's surprise attack on Israel last month. Tasnim news agency said the Supreme Leader emphasized Tehran's consistent policy of supporting the Palestinian resistance forces against the Zionist occupiers."

Since the conflict began, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian has met with Hezbollah General Secretary Hassan Nasrallah and other prominent Iranian-proxies to rally support for Hamas.

Amid the conflict between Israel and Hamas, American troops operating in Iraq and Syria have faced numerous attacks by Iranian-backed proxy groups in recent weeks.

In response to the attacks, the U.S. has conducted airstrikes on facilities in eastern Syria, striking a weapons depot and an ammo storage area believed to be used by IRGC and affiliated groups.

Despite the strikes against the ammo storage, Iranian-backed groups continue to strike against American-backed forces, facing no repercussions from the Biden administration.

"There have been over 30 such attacks with one U.S. response. That is a dangerous lack of deterrence," Brodsky told The Foreign Desk.

Related Story: Iran-Backed Proxies Claim Attack on U.S. Troops After Biden Warned Ayatollah to ‘Prepare’ for U.S. Response

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