Iran Says It Won’t Enter War With Israel Unless Israel Attacks First

Iran's foreign minister has warned Israel against invading Gaza

Amid concerns about Israel’s onslaught in Gaza escalating into a regional war, the Iranian mission to the UN said Sunday that it would only enter the fighting if Israel attacked Iran.

“Iran’s armed forces will not engage, provided that the Israeli apartheid does not dare to attack Iran, its interests, and nationals. The resistance front can defend itself,” Iran’s UN mission in New York told Reuters.

Also on Sunday, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian warned Israel that a ground invasion of Gaza could spark a regional war with “resistance” factions, referring to Hezbollah and Shia militias that operate in Iraq and Syria.

“If the measures aimed at immediately stopping the Israeli attacks that are killing children in the Gaza Strip end in a deadlock, it is highly probable that many other fronts will be opened. This option is not ruled out and this is becoming increasingly more probable,” Amir-Abdollahian told Al Jazeera.

“If the Zionist entity decides to enter Gaza, the resistance leaders will turn it into a graveyard of the occupation soldiers,” he added. On Saturday, Amir-Abdollahian met with Hamas officials in Lebanon and Qatar and also stopped in Iraq and Syria.

Hezbollah and Israel have exchanged some fire on the Israel-Lebanon border, and there have been some casualties, but there’s no sign yet that Hezbollah has decided to launch a major attack. Amir-Abdollahian warned on Saturday that he’s learned of “the scenarios that Hezbollah has put in place” and said that “any step the resistance will take will cause a huge earthquake in the Zionist entity.”

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.