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Iran Accuses US of Giving “Greenlight” for Killing Palestinians

By Nigar Bayramli December 15, 2023

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Iran's Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian held a meeting with his Japanese counterpart Yoko Kamikawa held in Geneva, on December 14, 2023, within the Global Refugee Forum organised by the UN Refugee Agency. / MFA.gov.ir

The Iranian foreign minister has claimed that the recent US veto of a UN Security Council (UNSC) resolution in support of a Gaza ceasefire was Washington's "greenlight" for Israel to “kill" Palestinians.

“The US repeated move to veto the UNSC resolutions demanding a ceasefire in Gaza is not conducive to peace, but is a green light for the Israeli regime to kill more Palestinian people,” Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said in a meeting with his Japanese counterpart Yoko Kamikawa, in Geneva on December 14, according to the Iranian Foreign Ministry website.

On December 8, the US was the only member of the UNSC to vote against the resolution. The resolution was put to vote after UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres on December 6, invoked Article 99 of the UN Charter to call on the council to push for a full humanitarian ceasefire in the Israel-Gaza war.

Amir-Abdollahian is in Switzerland for the Global Refugee Forum organised by the UN Refugee Agency, taking place between December 13 and 15. Addressing the forum on December 13, the Iranian minister warned that a new Palestinian refugee crisis was in the making because of the war.

He accused Israel of widespread killing in northern and southern Gaza, of imposing a blockade there, and of subjecting coastal residents to strong pressure and violence.

The minister also said that Israel is attempting "to displace Gazans" because of its "failure" to achieve its stated objectives in the Gaza military campaign, and suggested that this strategy aimed to force Gazans to seek refuge in neighbouring countries.

In a meeting with his Jordanian counterpart Ayman al-Safadi in Geneva, Amir-Abdollahian called for joint efforts with Jordan for an "immediate end to Israeli attacks", and the delivery of humanitarian aid to Gaza.

In turn, Ayman al-Safadi said that Palestinians were "killed not only by bombing," but also by the lack of food and medicine and the destruction of hospitals.

In discussions with Lebanon's Acting Prime Minister Najib Mikati in Geneva, Amir-Abdollahian accused the US of perpetuating the conflict in Gaza, saying that "without American support, the Zionist regime would struggle to sustain the conflict even for an hour".

In his meeting with Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi, Amir-Abdollahian stressed that the US and Israel have prolonged the war as they "failed" to achieve their goals in Gaza.

"America has to realise that if the war in Gaza is not stopped, it can make the situation more complicated and the situation in the region can get out of control," the Iranian minister added.

On December 12, Amir-Abdollahian spoke out against Israel's "genocide" in Gaza while addressing a ministerial meeting on the human rights situation in the Palestinian territories.

He condemned Israel for "killing 18,000 civilians" and "violating the humanitarian truce", referring to the seven-day ceasefire that ended on November 30. The minister also accused the US of supporting Israel's "killing of women and children" and compared Israel's "killing and capturing Palestinian men" to the actions of the Islamic State terror group.

The Iranian minister also described Hamas, whose attack on Israel on October 7 triggered the current war, as a "Palestinian liberation movement against the occupying power," and added that the US and Israel would "never be able to destroy Hamas" as it had "roots within the Palestinian people".

Two weeks after a truce collapsed, the war is now raging across the entire Gaza Strip and a humanitarian catastrophe is unfolding. Israel has brushed off calls for a ceasefire, including a resolution at the UNSC blocked by a US veto last week and another that passed overwhelmingly in the General Assembly this week.

Washington has provided diplomatic cover for its longstanding ally but expressed increasing alarm over civilian deaths. President Joe Biden this week called Israeli bombing "indiscriminate". White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan arrived in Israel and met Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to discuss the need to be more accurate in strikes.

Up to 45% of the 29,000 air-to-ground munitions that Israel has dropped on Gaza since October 7 have been unguided "dumb bombs", according to a US intelligence assessment.

Israel launched its campaign in retaliation for a rampage by Hamas, the Iran-backed group that rules Gaza, whose fighters killed 1,200 Israelis and seized 240 hostages in a cross-border raid on October 7.

Since then, Israeli forces have besieged the coastal strip and laid part of it to waste, with nearly 19,000 people confirmed dead, according to Palestinian health officials. Nearly all of Gaza's 2.3 million residents have been forced from their homes. Food and medical supplies are running out and international aid bodies say they fear mass death from hunger and disease.