Oct 16, 2023

White House Responds to Iran Foreign Minister Comments Transcript

White House Responds to Iran Foreign Minister Comments Transcript
RevBlogTranscriptsIranWhite House Responds to Iran Foreign Minister Comments Transcript

A White House official has responded to comments made by an Iranian foreign minister warning of escalation towards Israel. Read the transcript here.

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Yasmin (00:02):

All right. We’re following this breaking news out of the White House. Moments ago, a senior official responding to that statement made by Iran’s Foreign Minister out of Qatar. NBC’s Gabe Gutierrez is at the White House for us. Gabe, talk us through this because Iran really kind of is the outlier here. How, in fact, they will get involved if they will get involved, and we’ve seen the Foreign Minister making the rounds, first to Lebanon, making a statement in Beirut after meeting with the leader of Hezbollah and then meeting with the leader of Hamas in Qatar as well. What are we learning this afternoon coming out of the White House?

Gabe Gutierrez (00:38):

Hey there, Yasmin. Certainly this is a very fine line that the administration is trying to walk here, not trying to provoke Iran, but also trying to deter Iran. That’s why the senior White House officials said that the Biden administration has sent those two carrier strike groups to the region. But I want to read for you this statement from the Iranian foreign minister a little earlier today saying, “if the Zionist aggression is not stopped, the hands of all parties in the region will be on the trigger.”

Now, this White House official who I just spoke with said that we haven’t seen any specific indication that Iran is trying to deepen or widen the conflict. This official making the point that the relationship with Iran has, of course, been tense now for many years and that the administration made it clear that they don’t want to see other actors in the region, not just Iran, but also its proxy, Hezbollah, trying to exploit this situation in Israel. But, certainly, a lot of eyes on any response from Iran. That statement, that very strong statement, from the Iranian Foreign Minister raising a lot of eyebrows this morning, Yasmin.

Yasmin (01:43):

I’m just curious as to how they are so confident they don’t see evidence or intelligence now suggesting that Iran is trying to widen this conflict, considering it seems somewhat of a direct threat here, from the Iranian Foreign Minister, as they full well know this is going to get worse, as one of my guests said yesterday, before it gets worse, i.e., the ground invasion is coming.

Gabe Gutierrez (02:08):

Look, and the White House has been trying now for several days, since this conflict began, since this Hamas attack happened a little over a week ago. Despite the reports that Iran may have greenlit this operation, the White House and National Security Council has been steadfast and saying that they don’t see any direct evidence of Iran being specifically involved in the planning of this operation. But you do hear White House officials say that they are broadly complicit, that’s the word they have used, because Iran has funded Hamas for so long.

And so, certainly the White House is trying to walk that fine line and try not to make more of these comments from the Iranian Foreign Minister, not to make more hay of them than they need to. But, at the same time, they are watching this situation very closely and that is why they have sent more military resources to the Eastern Mediterranean, to send that message that countries, like Iran, or other actors, like Hezbollah, they’re warning them not to get involved as they scramble to try and prevent this conflict between Israel and Hamas from spiraling into a wider conflict across the Middle East, Yasmin.

Yasmin (03:19):

Gabe Gutierrez, my friend, thank you. Appreciate it.

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