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TEHRAN: Iran on Monday said time was running short to reach a political solution in the Israel-Gaza conflict, warning of the “possibility of expanding the scope of war and conflict to other fronts”.

Israel declared war on the Palestinian group Hamas a day after waves of its fighters broke through Gaza’s heavily militarised border with Israel on October 7 and shot, stabbed and burned to death over 1,400 people, most of them civilians.

Israel has responded by pummelling the Gaza Strip with non-stop air and artillery strikes that have flattened neighbourhoods and killed at least 2,750 people in Gaza, mostly civilians.

Iran celebrated the Hamas assault but insisted it was not involved.

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi on Monday held phone calls with his Russian and Turkish counterparts, during which he “warned against the continuation of crimes by the Zionist regime”, the president’s political deputy, Mohammad Jamshidi, said on X, formerly Twitter.

During his phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Raisi warned of a “possibility of expanding the scope of war and conflict to other fronts”.

“If this happens, it will be more difficult to control the situation,” Raisi said, according to state news agency IRNA.

Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian meanwhile “stressed that time is running out for political solutions” to the conflict, according to a post on X. He added that he told his counterparts in Malaysia, Pakistan and Tunisia that the “probable spread of war to other fronts is approaching an inevitable stage”.

His remarks come as Israel readies for a land invasion into the long-blockaded Gaza Strip, where fears for Palestinians trapped in the heavily-bombarded enclave have grown since Israel launched its aerial campaign.

Hamas backer Iran has repeatedly warned that a ground invasion of Gaza would be met with a response from other fronts, prompting fears of a wider conflict that could draw in other countries.

During his call with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Raisi said “minutes” would be “vital” in stopping what he described as “the brutal attacks” of Israel on Gaza, the IRNA state news agency reported.

Raisi also expressed Iran’s readiness to send humanitarian aid to Gaza.

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