Wednesday , 17 April 2024

Iran sends ‘important message’ to US after Israeli attack on its Syria consulate

alarabiya – Iran’s top diplomat said on Tuesday that an “important message” had been conveyed to the US following a deadly attack attributed to Israel on Iran’s consulate in the Syrian capital Damascus.

The attack on Monday killed seven members of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, including two senior commanders, the IRGC said.

In a post on the social media platform X, Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said that an official from the Swiss embassy in Tehran, which serves as an intermediary for US interests in Iran, was summoned by the foreign ministry at 12:45 a.m. local time on Tuesday.

During the meeting, “the dimensions of the terrorist attack and the crime of the Israeli regime were explained, and the responsibility of the American government was emphasized,” Amir-Abdollahian said.

In the same meeting, “an important message was sent to the American government as a supporter of the Zionist regime,” he added, without specifying the content of the message. “America must be held accountable.”

Mohammad-Reza Zahedi and his deputy Mohammad-Hadi Haji-Rahimi were among the casualties, both described by the IRGC as “Iran’s senior military advisors in Syria.”

Zahedi, the highest-ranking casualty, was responsible for overseeing operations in Lebanon and Syria for the Quds Force, the IRGC’s foreign operations arm, according to Iranian state media.

Syrian Foreign Minister Faisal al-Mekdad walks with Iran’s ambassador in Damascus Hossein Akbari, near a damaged site after what the Iranian media said was an Israeli strike on the Iranian consulate in Damascus, Syria, April 1, 2024. (Reuters)

Syrian Foreign Minister Faisal al-Mekdad walks with Iran’s ambassador in Damascus Hossein Akbari, near a damaged site after what the Iranian media said was an Israeli strike on the Iranian consulate in Damascus, Syria, April 1, 2024. (Reuters)

Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman Nasser Kanani said Tehran “reserves the right to respond and will decide on the type of response and the punishment of the aggressor.”

Israel, known for its frequent airstrikes against Iran-linked targets and Syrian military forces in Syria in recent years, maintained its customary silence regarding the attack, refraining from public comment as it typically does regarding its operations in Syria.

However, the New York Times cited four unnamed Israeli officials acknowledging Israel’s responsibility for the attack.

Iran, a staunch ally of President Bashar al-Assad, has played a key role in the Syrian conflict since its beginning in 2011, dispatching thousands of Iranian and foreign fighters to back the Syrian regime.

The latest attack in Damascus comes amid heightened tensions in the Middle East, with Iran and several Tehran-backed militant groups facing off against Israel and the US on multiple fronts since the outbreak of war between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas on October 7.

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