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Iran sent US back-channel messages on risk of wider regional war, FM says

In an interview with Al-Monitor, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said Tehran is not seeking a wider regional conflict, even as his country's network of militias across the Middle East are stepping up attacks on US bases and ships.
Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian listens to a question during a press conference with his Saudi counterpart (not pictured) in Tehran, on June 17, 2023.

NEW YORK — Iran’s foreign minister said Tehran has informed Washington through back-channel messages that it’s not seeking a broader war that engulfs the region, even as its ally in Yemen continues to attack international shipping lanes in the Red Sea

“We don't really want the war to widen,” Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said in an interview Tuesday with Al-Monitor in New York, where he had traveled to attend a UN Security Council meeting on Gaza. 

For more than three months, militias that are funded and armed by Iran have attacked Israeli- and US-linked targets across Syria, Iraq and Lebanon and in the Red Sea, fueling concerns of a larger Middle East conflict stemming from Hamas’ Oct. 7 rampage in Israel. 

The Iran-backed Houthis in Yemen have also exploited the Israel-Hamas war to launch drone and missile attacks they pledge will continue until Israel ends its bombardment of the Gaza Strip. 

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