DUBAI: Iran said that the United States would “be hit hard” if Washington did not implement a ceasefire in Gaza, the country’s Minister of Defence was quoted as saying by the semi-official Tasnim news agency on Sunday.
“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.
After a surprise attack by Hamas against Israel on October 7, the Israelis have sought to defeat the militant group.
Iran considers the US to be “militarily-involved” in the conflict.
On saturday. British foreign minister James Cleverly has urged Iran to use its influence with groups in the Middle East region to prevent an escalation of Israel’s conflict with Hamas.
Britain’s Foreign Office said Cleverly spoke to Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian on Friday, telling him “Iran bore responsibility” for the actions of groups, such as Hamas and Hezbollah, that it has supported for many years.
Cleverly also reiterated that Iranian-backed threats against people in the United Kingdom were unacceptable and must stop, a Foreign Office spokesperson said.
Britain has supported Israel’s right to defend itself after an Oct. 7 attack by militant group Hamas that Israel said had killed 1,400 people, mostly civilians, and saw over 200 others taken captive.
The leader of the Palestinian group Hamas, Ismail Haniyah, met Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei during a visit to Tehran in recent days, a Hamas official said on Saturday in remarks broadcast by Al Mayadeen television.
Osama Hamdan, a senior official in the Iran-backed Hamas, gave no further details about the visit to Tehran, speaking in Beirut. Haniyah has resided between Qatar and Turkey since 2019.