July 1, 2024 | The Jerusalem Post

Iran’s FM warns Israel in talks with Turkey’s FM

The details of the conversation were reported in Iranian state media Press TV and al-Mayadeen, which is pro-Iranian. The reports indicate this is an important development
July 1, 2024 | The Jerusalem Post

Iran’s FM warns Israel in talks with Turkey’s FM

The details of the conversation were reported in Iranian state media Press TV and al-Mayadeen, which is pro-Iranian. The reports indicate this is an important development

In a development that illustrates how Iran and Turkey coordinate policy against Israel, Iran’s acting Foreign Minister Ali Bagheri Kani spoke with his counterpart, Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs Hakan Fidan and warned Israel against escalation with Hezbollah. The Iranian claimed that Israel would face “detrimental consequences” if it attacks Lebanon.

The details of the conversation were reported in Iranian state media Press TV and al-Mayadeen, which is pro-Iranian. The reports indicate this is an important development. Iran is speaking with Turkey about “the Lebanese resistance movement Hezbollah,” which the Iranians claim “is fully prepared to fight off Israel.” Why is Iran having this conversation with Turkey? Clearly the goal is to bring Ankara in on the side of Hezbollah. Turkey’s government is one of the most anti-Israel in the region and openly backs Hamas. On June 30 Ankara refused to enable an Israeli flight that diverted to Turkey due to a medical emergency, to refuel.

According to Press TV in Iran “Bagheri Kani issued the warning in a phone conversation with Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs Hakan Fidan on Monday amid Israel’s threats to launch attacks on the Lebanese resistance movement Hezbollah.” The report says Bagheri Kani said “they (the Israeli regime) should know that any new mistake they make in Lebanon will create new conditions at the regional level to the detriment of the Zionists, who will not be able to make up for their strategic defeat by [committing] murder and crime.” 

Isolating Israel in the region

The Iranian hinted at Hezbollah possessing new capabilities. The report speaks of the “unique power of the Lebanese resistance which is fully prepared to deal with the Israeli regime’s threats.” Iran not only backs Hezbollah but also equips it with precision guided munitions and other weapons. The Iranian top diplomat also “noted that the Israeli regime is not able to restore the situation that existed before it launched the war in the Gaza Strip on October 7.”

This is Iran’s goal, it wants to isolate Israel in the region and it sees October 7 as a gamechanger. It wants Turkey to work with Iran to back Hezbollah.

According to Al-Mayadeen “diplomatic sources announced, according to the Turkish Anadolu Agency, that during the call, the latest situation in Gaza was discussed and the risks of expanding tensions in the region were assessed. The [Turkish media] agency quoted the Turkish Foreign Minister as saying that the increase in tension in Lebanon will have repercussions on Iraq and Syria.” This indicates that Iranian-backed groups in Iraq will join attacks on Israel and might increase attacks on US forces. The Iraqi militia leader Qais Khazali recently threatened the US in this context.

Seth Frantzman is the author of Drone Wars: Pioneers, Killing Machine, Artificial Intelligence and the Battle for the Future (Bombardier 2021) and an adjunct fellow at The Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

Issues:

Hezbollah Iran Iran Global Threat Network Israel Turkey