Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s chilling warning to Israel came just days before Hamas carried out a surprise terror attack, killing 1,400 civilians.
In a shocking revelation, Iran’s dictator Ayatollah Ali Khamenei issued a disturbing warning to Israel, stating that “the Zionist regime is dying,” just four days before its proxy, Hamas, unleashed a surprise terror attack on Israel. The attack, which occurred on October 7, resulted in the death of 1,400 civilians and the captivity of over 200 people.
Khamenei in a post on X, formerly Twitter , on October 3, warned: ‘The Zionist regime is dying’
In response, Israel launched a devastating bombing campaign in the Palestinian enclave, resulting in over 8,000 Palestinian deaths, predominantly women and minors. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Israeli government now face domestic pressure to secure the release of the approximately 230 hostages seized when Hamas fighters from Gaza breached Israel’s defences.
Hamas has expressed its willingness to release all hostages, provided Israel releases the thousands of Palestinians currently held in its prisons. However, Israel has dismissed this offer, with Netanyahu affirming that the expanding ground operation “will help us in this mission.”
Members of the Ezz-Al Din Al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of the Hamas movement, parade on a truck with rockets in a street in Khan Yunis, in the southern Gaza Strip
“The risk of an expansion of this conflict is very, very real and extremely dangerous,” warns Tor Wennesland, the UN’s Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process.
The complexities of regional dynamics mean the conflict could rapidly spiral out of control, according to Jon Alterman, a senior vice president at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “We are absolutely heading into a big unknown,” he states.
The atrocities have prompted Israel’s Defence Forces (IDF) to mass tens of thousands of troops, tanks, and heavy armour along the border with Gaza, signaling a potential full-scale ground assault on the Palestinian enclave. Israeli units have also engaged with militants from Iran-backed Hezbollah along the northern border with Lebanon.
Israeli armored vehicles gathered at an undisclosed location near the border with Gaza
The situation is further complicated by Iran’s longstanding opposition to Israel’s existence and its support for groups like Hezbollah and Hamas. Last week, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian travelled to Saudi Arabia, an erstwhile enemy, in a show of unity against Israel. During the visit, Amir-Abdollahian issued a stern warning to Israel: “Time is OVER.”
US President Joe Biden has declared there is ‘no clear evidence’ of Iran aiding Hamas in planning the October attacks, despite being the Palestinian group’s primary financial backer. Senior Fellow at UCLA’s International Relations department, Dalia Dassa Kaye, remains hopeful that mediation can help ease tensions between Israel and Iran. She warns, however, that failure to contain the violence could result in more skirmishes or even a full-scale war between Israel and Iran, with potentially devastating consequences for the region and the world at large.