Iran issues Lebanon warning to Israel – media

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Tehran has cautioned West Jerusalem against “reckless” actions at the border

Iran has pledged to come to Lebanon’s defense if Israel takes any “reckless” actions against it, Iranian media have reported. Clashes have continued along the Israeli-Lebanese border, stoking fears of a full-scale war.

According to Iranian news agency SNN, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani insisted that Tehran considers support for Lebanon to be a cornerstone of its foreign policy, and will “not hesitate to defend the people of Lebanon and its security when needed.” 

“The Zionist regime must realize the consequences of any of its reckless actions in the Middle East, especially towards Lebanon,” Kanaani said at a press conference.

The comments come amid an increase in exchanges of fire across the border between Israel and Lebanon, which is home to Iran-backed Shia militant group Hezbollah. 

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Iran vows to protect Hezbollah from Israeli attack

The situation has escalated since the start of the Israeli offensive in Gaza last October. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and Hezbollah have been exchanging fire along the border daily, with the militants saying they are striking Israel in solidarity with Palestinian armed group Hamas.

Last month, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned that the Jewish state was preparing for “a very tense operation” on the border with Lebanon.

Following Netanyahu’s statement, Iran’s mission at the UN cautioned Israel against “full-scale military aggression” in Lebanon and said it would lead to an “obliterating war.”

Last week, Hezbollah claimed to have launched more than 200 rockets and drones at Israeli military positions in response to the killing of a senior commander. 

READ MORE: Hezbollah launches massive attack on Israel

The UN said it was “deeply concerned” by the increase in the intensity of exchanges of fire, which “heightens the risk of a full-scale war.” 

Hezbollah’s deputy leader, Sheikh Naim Kassem, said last week that the only way to stop the escalation on the Israeli-Lebanese border is for West Jerusalem to end its operation in Gaza.

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