Iranian MP says government failing to take tough action against Israel

Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian last week said an expansion of the scope of the war in Gaza is inevitable

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian. AFP
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A member of the Iranian Parliament's National Security and Foreign Policy Commission has submitted a motion of censure against Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian – an official protest at government policy which he claims is too soft on Israel.

In his motion, Mahmoud Abbaszadeh Meshkini contended that President Ebrahim Raisi’s administration has been “passive” regarding Israel’s war on Gaza as well as its recent rapprochement with Saudi Arabia, the Iranian Jamaran news website said, citing the MP’s motion.

Mr Meshkini said there had been a shift in Tehran’s policy on Israel and Saudi Arabia. He criticised what he called a moderation of Iran's pre-Gaza conflict position that "Israel should be wiped off the face of the Earth"

While Jamaran reported that Mr Meshkini has prepared plans to submit his motion, other members of the Iranian parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission told the local newspaper they were not aware of any plans to censure Mr Hossein Amirabdollahian.

Earlier last week, Mr Hossein Amirabdollahian said an expansion of the scope of the war in Gaza was inevitable due to Israel’s heightened aggression.

“Due to the expansion of the intensity of the war against Gaza’s civilian residents, expansion of the scope of the war has become inevitable,” he said.

It was unclear what he meant by an “inevitable expansion” of the conflict and whether this would extend to direct Iranian action, beyond Tehran's current support of armed groups in the region, including Hamas and Hezbollah.

Israel’s war on Gaza has stoked regional tensions, with cross-border exchanges between the Israeli army and Lebanon's Iran-backed Hezbollah militant group.

Iran-backed Yemeni Houthi rebels on Tuesday also threatened to target Israeli ships in the Red Sea, as the group said they had launched another missile at the country over its war with Hamas.

Mr Meshkini’s reported anger is a change in tone, especially regarding his complaint against the foreign ministry’s file on Saudi Arabia, given that he played a role in his country’s efforts to re-establish ties with Riyadh last year in his role as the main spokesman for the parliament’s national security and foreign committee.

More recently, he has strongly threatened Israel, warning the Israeli army that it was possible for Iran to “attack Israel from a place they do not imagine”.

"Houthi forces in Yemen, Hezbollah in Lebanon, Islamic resistance in Iraq and multinational forces in Syria are ready to attack Israel,” Mr Meshkini said.

Updated: November 15, 2023, 2:55 PM