Hezbollah terrorists near the border
Hezbollah terrorists near the borderFlash 90

Iran is privately urging Hezbollah and other armed groups to exercise restraint against US forces, The Washington Post reported on Sunday, citing officials in the region.

When US forces launched strikes this month on Iran-backed groups in Yemen, Syria and Iraq, Tehran publicly warned that its military was ready to respond to any threat. But in private, senior leaders are urging caution, said Lebanese and Iraqi officials who were briefed on the talks.

US officials said the message might be having some effect. As of Saturday, Iran-backed militias in Iraq and Syria hadn’t attacked US forces in more than 13 days, an unusual lull since the war in Gaza began in October.

To emphasize the new directive, Iran has dispatched military leaders and diplomats across the region to meet with local officials and militia members, according to The Washington Post.

Days after Kataib Hezbollah claimed responsibility for the attack that killed the three US Army reservists in Jordan, an Iranian military commander landed in Baghdad to meet with the group’s leaders. The commander pressured it to issue a statement suspending attacks on US targets.

The leaders were unhappy with the suspension, the Iraqi official said, but acceded to the request of the country that has trained and armed their forces.

The report further said that Iranian emissaries, in private conversations, praised Hezbollah’s sacrifices but cautioned that war with Israel would risk precious gains in the region.

The axis of resistance, the Iranian officials told the Hezbollah leaders, is winning. The war in Gaza has shifted the world’s focus back on the Israeli-Palestinian Arab conflict and complicated plans for Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states to normalize ties with Israel.

But those gains could be lost, the officials warned, if Israel opens another front in Lebanon. The Hezbollah member summarized the message: Netanyahu is squeezed in the corner now. Don’t give him a way out. Let us not give him the benefit of launching a wider war because this would make him a winner.

In Iraq, the message was slightly different. Renewed conflict in Iraq, the Iranian officials said, risked upsetting momentum behind talks on a US military withdrawal from the country, said the Iraqi official.