US Denies Telling Iran about Ceasefire in Gaza Efforts

Tuesday, 7 November 2023

The United States has rejected Iran's claims that US officials sent messages to seek a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip, where Israel is conducting a military operation against the Hamas militant group.

As reported by CNN, responding to a question about Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian's remarks that Washington had sent Tehran messages about the US seeking a ceasefire in Gaza over the past three days, the official stressed, "That statement was categorically false".

The official said the United States has made it clear to Iran that it should not seek to expand the conflict and has also warned it of the consequences if Tehran decides to do so.

"We have made clear to Iran that it should not seek to expand the conflict and the consequences should it choose to do so," the spokesperson said. "We have also made clear publicly and privately that we demand the release of hostages held by Hamas. Implementing the release of hostages would require a humanitarian pause in the fighting. Any delay in that process rests with Hamas," the spokesman noted.

Amir-Abdollahian's remarks emerged after Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammad Shia al-Sudani paid a visit to Tehran on Monday, the day after he met with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Baghdad.

Before this, the US Secretary of State disagreed with Jordan and Egypt's calls to persuade Israel to cease fire in the Gaza Strip.

During his visit to Israel, Blinken said the US recognises Israel's absolute right to defend itself, but how it does so matters, and civilians in Gaza must be protected.

Media reports indicated that the United States expected Israel to change its tactics against Hamas in the coming days, reducing the scale of air attacks and focusing on tactical ground operations.

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