Report: Khamenei defends Nasrallah, urges against all-out war

Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei hosted Wednesday evening a secret meeting of the leaders of the pro-Tehran factions in Lebanon, Iraq, Syria, Palestine and Yemen, during which he stressed the need to close ranks and defended the strategy avoiding engagement in an all-out war, which has been “clearly endorsed” by Tehran and Hezbollah in dealing with the Gaza war, a source in Khamenei’s office said.

The source told Kuwait’s al-Jarida newspaper that Hezbollah was represented in the meeting by the head of its executive council, Sayyed Hashem Saffieddine.

“Khamenei stressed in the meeting with the leaders of the factions that the strategy is based on focusing on Gaza -- where Israel was dealt a major blow on October 7 -- and avoiding being dragged into any side battles that would deviate attention from what’s happening in the Palestinian strip,” the source said.

“Despite the cost and losses that are being incurred by the Palestinian people, the current international circumstances are in their favor and in favor of the Palestinian cause, after Israel lost its credibility and the international community is no longer fully on its side,” the source quoted Khamenei as saying.

“Khamenei also defended the speech of Hezbollah’s secretary-general, which did not contain any declaration that the southern front against Israel will be escalated,” the source added.

The supreme leader told those who criticized Nasrallah’s remarks that the speech “was coordinated with Quds Brigade chief Esmail Qaani and the relevant officials in the resistance front” and that “the main message was highlighting support for the front in Gaza without opening any other fronts that would deviate attention and waste the Palestinian achievements.”

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