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Iran’s Foreign Minister Warns U.S. Veto May Lead to an ‘Uncontrollable Explosion’ in Region

Iran’s Tasnim News Agency reports that Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian spoke with UN Secretary General António Guterres on Friday night, Dec. 8, after the U.S. vetoed the ceasefire resolution. He praised Guterres for his “brave action to maintain international peace and security” by invoking Article 99 of the UN Charter, but warned that with the U.S. veto, “not only is the ongoing war likely to spread, but also the situation in the region could explode out of hand…. Washington’s support for the continuation of the Israeli regime’s military strikes has made it difficult to reach a lasting ceasefire.”

In an op-ed posted on the Middle East Eye, CODEPINK’s Medea Benjamin and Nicolas J.S. Davies also warn that blind U.S. support of Israel is multiplying the threat of a larger war. “In plain language, the U.S. is threatening to attack any forces that come to the defense of the Palestinians from other countries in the region, reassuring Israel that it can keep killing with impunity in Gaza. But if Israel persists in this genocidal war, U.S. threats may be impotent to prevent others from intervening. From Lebanon to Syria, Yemen, Iraq and Iran, the possibilities of the conflict spreading are enormous,” they write.

Benjamin and Davies argue that the Houthis in Yemen and the armed groups in Iraq and Syria are not Iranian proxies and are acting according to their own agendas. They have all said that the attacks in the Red Sea and on U.S. military bases will not stop as long as Israel’s war on Gaza continues: “Short of a ceasefire in Gaza or a full U.S. withdrawal from Iraq and Syria, there is no decisive action the U.S. can take that would put a stop to these attacks. So the level of violence in Iraq and Syria is likely to keep rising as long as the war on Gaza continues.”

Furthermore, they go on, “if Israel’s actions lead to a wider war, the U.S. will find itself with few allies ready to jump into the fray.… Even if a regional conflict is avoided, U.S. support for Israel has already created tremendous damage to its reputation in the region and beyond, and direct U.S. involvement in the war would leave it more isolated and impotent than its previous misadventures in Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq.”