‘Israel Will Be Gone Soon,’ Iranian Official Says

Tehran working to rally Arab countries against Israel

October 16, 2023

Israel "will be gone soon and the Palestinian nation will be victorious in the final battle," a senior Iranian official said on Monday amid fresh attempts by the Islamic Republic to rally militant forces across the region against the Jewish state.

Israel’s destruction is certain, Ali Akbar Velayati, a senior adviser to Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, said in public remarks as he hosted Hamas representatives in Tehran. Velayati urged Hamas leaders to continue their assault on Israel nearly a week after the Iranian-backed group conducted an unprecedented slaughter of nearly 1,500 Israeli citizens, according to a report in Tehran’s state-controlled media.

Iran’s coordination with Hamas, highlighted in Monday’s meeting, comes amid parallel efforts by top Iranian officials to rally Arab countries in the region against Israel. Iranian foreign minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian held talks with Tunisia on Monday and said the Islamic "resistance is fully ready to respond to Zionists’ warmongering."

Iran’s role in galvanizing Arab nations against Israel threatens to ignite a broader Middle East conflict, particularly along Israel’s northern border where Hezbollah forces backed by Tehran have been steadily increasing their strikes on Israeli territory. It also serves as a test for the Biden administration as it works to prevent the Hamas-Israel conflict from spreading into a wider war that could entangle American forces. U.S. officials are said to be "increasingly anxious" about a full blown attack on Israel by surrounding Arab countries.

As of Monday, Iran appears to be the leading force pushing for a coordinated assault by Arab nations on Israel. The Islamic Republic also promised a "huge earthquake" for Israel if its allies in Hezbollah enter the fray.

During Velayati’s Monday sit-down with Hamas’s representative in Tehran, the Iranian official stressed that Israel’s destruction "is a definite principle." Hamas, he was quoted as saying, "is moving ahead on the right path toward winning a final victory."

Iranian president Ebrahim Raisi has also been rallying regional partners like Turkey. In a Monday call with Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Raisi "called on the Islamic world to confront the crimes of the Zionists and to end the savage attacks on the defenseless women and children in Gaza," according to a separate report in Iran’s state-controlled media.

Raisi also said that Israel’s efforts to defend itself from Hamas terrorists constitute a "genocide" and "crime against humanity."

Iranian officials are also working to blame the United States for the latest conflict between Israel and Hamas, even though the Iranian-backed terror group initiated the violence with Tehran’s support.

"The U.S. must be held accountable for the crimes of the Zionist regime, this is the government that has supported the [Israeli] regime with all its might against the Palestinian nation," Iran’s foreign ministry said in a Monday statement.

With Arab nations, including U.S. allies, calling for a halt to Israel’s anti-terror operations, it remains unclear how long the U.S. administration will continue to offer full-throated support for the Jewish state’s war effort while deterring Iran’s other terrorist proxies.

"We can’t rule out that Iran would choose to get directly engaged some way," White House National Security adviser Jake Sullivan said in an interview on Sunday. "We have to prepare for every possible contingency."