ANI Photo | “If Israel continues destruction more will join resistance”: Iran Envoy to India

As Israel continues to retaliate against the Hamas terror attack by attacking Gaza, the Iranian Ambassador to India, Iraj Elahi, on Thursday stressed that even if Israel successfully weakens Hamas, it cannot erase the idea of resistance against occupation and apartheid, rooted in the hearts of Palestinians.
Elahi in an exclusive interview with ANI, said that if this continues, even more Palestinians will join and raise weapons to defend their families.
The transcript of the entire interview follows:
ANI: What is Iran’s stand over the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas from the past 23 days?
Iraj Elahi-Iran Ambassador to India: In the past three weeks, the widespread atrocities committed by Zionists have reached their peak. We, as always, strongly condemn the acts of genocide and crimes against humanity perpetrated by Zionists. Our primary objective is to employ every available means to establish a truce and put an end to this ongoing genocide. We firmly believe that unless the Palestinians’ right to self-determination is recognized and their basic rights are respected, there can be no significant progress in resolving this conflict.
ANI: The death toll in Gaza is continuously increasing, but there seems to be little hope regarding the ceasefire, this war has brought devastation for the entire Gaza, Israel is clearly saying that the war will not stop until Hamas is eliminated. Do you believe that this war is going to open more fronts?
Iraj Elahi-Iran Ambassador to India: Zionists have consistently shown a lack of respect for international law and universal moral values. They have repeatedly disregarded resolutions ratified by international and global institutions. It is clear that they will not comply with the recent UNGA resolution and instead choose to continue their brutal actions in Gaza. They justify their aggression by claiming that eradicating Hamas is one of their main goals. However, this allegation is absurd, as anyone with basic knowledge of Hamas’ nature and tactics would understand that it is an impossible mission. Therefore, we must look elsewhere to uncover the true intentions of the Zionists.
Furthermore, even if they were able to weaken Hamas, they cannot erase the idea of resistance against occupation and apartheid that is deeply ingrained in the hearts and minds of Palestinians. More and more Palestinians will turn to weapons to defend their families, land, and dignity.
Regarding your last question, it is important to note that an escalation of violence by the Zionist regime will only increase the likelihood of new conflicts emerging.
ANI: There seems to be a direct allegation against Iran that Hamas, Hezbollah, Houthi all these organizations survive with the help of Iran. Does Iran consider such attacks by Hamas on Israel justified? Is bloodshed the only option? Can there be a solution or a breakthrough in this conflict through Iran’s meditation?
Iraj Elahi-Iran Ambassador to India: Each of the aforementioned organizations possesses an independent character and nature. They belong to distinct contexts and environments, and in certain matters, they exhibit different thoughts and behaviours. Moreover, they possess the strength to autonomously protect themselves.
Following the Abraham Accords, the daily violence against Palestinians has escalated to an unprecedented level. The Zionist regime has not only made life unbearable for Palestinians but has also desecrated Masjid-Al-Aqsa, intensifying its efforts to undermine the identity of Palestine. In such circumstances, defending oneself against aggression and oppression is not only morally permissible but necessary. In this regard what Hamas has done can be seen as an act of resistance and self-defence.
Shedding the blood of those who defend themselves against occupation has never been the right choice. The bloodshed only exacerbates the situation, accordingly, Iran actively tries to put an end to this brutal massacre. Our officials have engaged in fruitful and constructive meetings with their counterparts, aiming to facilitate a ceasefire. However, despite our efforts, the United States hinders progress by supporting the occupiers. We firmly believe that the true resolution to this conflict can only be achieved through democratic means and by recognizing the Palestinians’ right to self-determination.
ANI: About 230 people in Israel have been taken hostage, they are also being bombed, there seems to be no hope of peace. In your opinion, for how many days can Hamas fight? Is there a result that you see from this war?
Iraj Elahi-Iran Ambassador to India: The Zionist regime shows a lack of concern for the lives of the hostages. Despite the opportunity to exchange them by accepting the recent UNGA resolution, they chose to refuse. It is clear that countering Hamas is merely an excuse to invade Gaza and further expand their settlements and occupation. From the very start, the Zionist regime has been on the losing side of this conflict, given its inhumane and self-contradictory nature.
Rather than accepting defeat, they tragically persist in continuing this frightening drama, seemingly driven by a desire to revive their lost hubris.
ANI: How do you see India’s role in the current situation? What role can India play to mediate for peace?
Iraj Elahi-Iran Ambassador to India: India has always been a steadfast bastion of morality and humanity on the global stage. The indelible impact of Mahatma Gandhi’s teachings and his inspiring words on Palestine are etched into the collective memory of all.
India aspires to become the voice of the global South, but we cannot discuss the global South without acknowledging the immense suffering endured by its people, particularly in the occupied lands of Palestine. The current situation presents a prime opportunity for India to lend its support to the voice of the global South.
Undoubtedly, India boasts a rich history of upholding moral courage and showcasing the indomitable human spirit. With this in mind, I firmly believe that India will not turn a blind eye to the ongoing genocide in Gaza. In fact, India possesses the potential to play a pivotal role in putting an end to the brutalities inflicted by the Zionists.

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