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Iranian Leader Khamenei Rules Out Direct Participation in War, Tells Hamas: Report

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei meets with Palestinian group Hamas' top leader, Ismail Haniyeh, in Tehran, Iran June 21, 2023. Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader/WANA (West Asia News Agency) via REUTERS/File Photo

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei informed Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh that, due to lack of prior notice on the October 7 attack, Tehran would not participate in the war against Israel, according to reports.

Senior officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity said, “Supreme Leader Khamenei made it clear to Haniyeh that Tehran will not accept Hamas’s involvement in the ongoing conflict with Israel, as they were not informed about the attack,” said one of the officials.

Despite this, Khamenei assured Haniyeh of continued political and moral support for Hamas but said that direct military intervention from Iran was not on the table.

The Iranian leader also reportedly asked Haniyeh to “silence those voices” in Hamas calling for Iran and its proxy terror group Hezbollah to directly join the war against Israel “in full force.”

Hamas’ unexpected assault on Israeli settlements in the Gaza Strip on October 7 caught Hezbollah off guard, according to sources close to the Lebanese militant group. Hezbollah fighters near the border were reportedly unprepared for the attack.

“We woke up to a war,” said a Hezbollah leader in response to the escalating tensions.

Muhand al-Haj Ali, an expert on Hezbollah affairs at the Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut, commented on the challenging situation, stating, “Hamas’ attack on Israel has left its partners with the difficult choice of facing a much larger and more powerful army.”

The repercussions of the Gaza conflict have extended beyond the region, with several Iranian-backed factions and groups in Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon issuing increased threats to Israel. Houthi rebels in Yemen have also joined the fray, launching missiles and drones toward Israel.

Israel initiated a war on the blockaded Gaza Strip on October 7 in response to Hamas’ Operation Al-Aqsa Storm. The Tel Aviv regime’s onslaught has resulted in the death of at least 11,517 Palestinians, predominantly women and children, with around 32,000 others injured.

The coastal sliver faces a dire situation as Israel enforces a “complete siege,” severing access to fuel, electricity, food, and water for over two million Palestinians.

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