The Islamic Republic of Iran issued several warnings seemingly pointed at Israel following a blast at a hospital in Gaza. The statements carried a sense of urgency unlike previous statements right before U.S. President Joe Biden arrived in Israel.
The comments came as Hamas claimed the death toll at the Al-Ahli Arab Hospital likely exceeded 500, which could be much further revised in the future. Hamas sources initially blamed an Israeli strike, but Israel posted video of what appears to be a failed rocket launch from a Palestinian militant group.
Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian tweeted that time was “running out” for Israel. He wrote that following the “terrible crime of the Zionist regime in the bombing and massacre of more than 1,000 innocent women and children in the hospital, the time has come for the global unity of humanity against this fake regime more hated than ISIS and its killing machine.”
Separately, the Iranian embassy in Syria posted the message “time is up” in Hebrew.
Iran's embassy in Syria posted in Hebrew: "Time's up". pic.twitter.com/btyIxzqP0B
— FJ (@Natsecjeff) October 18, 2023
Despite the video posted by the Israeli government and a number of news sources, many in the Muslim world blamed Israel for the blast. There were a number of significant protests across the region on Tuesday and Wednesday.
The increased threats from Iran also coincide with increased pressure on the Biden administration to cut off $6 billion originally offered to the Islamic Republic in exchange for five Americans in the country.
Almost 20 Republican senators called for the funds to be permanently frozen. The Biden administration originally planned for the funds to go toward humanitarian supplies such as food and medicine.
Currently, the White House has the funds temporarily frozen.
A bipartisan group of almost 100 members of the House also requested that Biden permanently freeze the funds, which were originally seized due to sanctions on Iran.
Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) said that holding the funds would “limit Iran’s ability to provide support to Hamas.”
She cited nearly $750 million in funding from the U.S. to a U.N. agency she said Hamas stole from.
“I’ll be introducing legislation to halt all funding for them until Iran is expelled from the UN and investigated for violations.”