Iran has conveyed a message to Hamas, along with its proxies such as Hezbollah in Lebanon, indicating that they will not escalate their involvement in the conflict with Israel, which intensified following Hamas' attack on Israel on October 7. Western intelligence sources, who are well-versed in the details of the meeting between the head of Hamas' political bureau, Ismail Haniyeh, and Iran's supreme spiritual and political leader, Ali Khamenei, made this announcement on Wednesday evening.
The Gaza-based terrorist organization has refuted the news reported by Reuters, claiming that Khamenei reprimanded Hamas for launching an attack on Israel without prior coordination with Iran and elements of the radical Shiite coalition that Tehran refers to as the "axis of resistance."
Let's be clear - the Biden Administration has never done anything to project strength onto the Islamic Republic of Iran or hold them accountable for their material support of #Hamas. It's appeasement and weakness all day long for the last 3 years. https://t.co/YPcGbigUbl— Bryan E. Leib (@BryanLeibFL) November 16, 2023
While Haniyeh himself has denied this news, neither Iran nor Hamas have officially confirmed or denied that the terrorist group received an official notification stating that the Islamic Republic, along with Hezbollah and other elements in the Shiite coalition led by Tehran, will refrain from escalating the conflict with Israel into an all-out war to assist Gaza.
An indirect confirmation of this information surfaced following the meeting between U.S. President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping in California. During the meeting, which aimed to alleviate global tensions between China and the U.S. and prevent destabilization in Southeast Asia, Chinese diplomats disclosed that they had received a message from Iran. This message conveyed Iran's intent not to intensify the conflict in Israel, provided that they are not directly attacked by the IDF or U.S. forces in the region.
This message holds significant importance for all international parties involved in the Gaza conflict, with far-reaching regional and global implications. For the U.S. and its allies, who had been apprehensive about a potential regional war in the Middle East following the Gaza conflict, this message offers reassurance. It substantially reduces the threat to regional stability in the Middle East, a concern that prompted the U.S. to deploy substantial military forces to dissuade Israel's adversaries, primarily Iran, from becoming involved in the Gaza conflict. Such involvement could have drawn the U.S. into another conflict, in addition to the ongoing one in Ukraine and the global competition with China.
Iran: Today in Isfahan the Islamic Republic recreates the scene of the Hamas attack on the Nova peace festival with the flag of Hezbollah pic.twitter.com/EmDgPaMN5x— Michael Weingardt (@Michael_Wgd) November 16, 2023
Israel's security establishment and its intelligence community, drawing from past experiences, acknowledge that the Iranian message appears credible. However, they caution against complacency and stress the need to consider the possibility of it being a deceptive maneuver. They also recognize that dynamics along the northern border and other fronts could lead to an escalation in conflict with Hezbollah, Syria, or Iraqi factions.