Iran president says Israel’s Syria attack ‘will not go unanswered’

Published April 2, 2024
Emergency and security personnel inspect the rubble at the site of strikes which hit a building annexed to the Iranian embassy in Syria’s capital Damascus, on April 1, 2024. — AFP
Emergency and security personnel inspect the rubble at the site of strikes which hit a building annexed to the Iranian embassy in Syria’s capital Damascus, on April 1, 2024. — AFP

Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi on Tuesday condemned a deadly air strike blamed on Israel against his country’s consular annex in Damascus, saying the “cowardly crime will not go unanswered”.

“After repeated defeats and failures against the faith and will of the Resistance Front fighters, the Zionist regime has put blind assassinations on its agenda in the struggle to save itself,” Raisi said on his office’s website.

“Day by day, we have witnessed the strengthening of the Resistance Front and the disgust and hatred of free nations towards the illegitimate nature of (Israel). This cowardly crime will not go unanswered.”

The air strike on the Iranian embassy’s five-storey annex killed seven members of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, which runs Iran’s overseas military operations.

Among the dead, were Brigadier Generals Mohammad Reza Zahedi and Mohammad Hadi Haji Rahimi, both senior commanders in the Quds Force, Guards’ foreign operations arm.

Zahedi, 63, had held a succession of commands in the force in a Guards career spanning more than four decades.

Israel declined to comment on the strike.

The UN Security Council was to discuss the deadly strike later on Tuesday at a meeting requested by Syrian ally Russia.

“Iran reserves its legitimate and inherent right under international law and the United Nations Charter to take a decisive response to such reprehensible acts,” Iran’s mission to the world body said.

It warned the strike could “potentially ignite more conflict involving other nations” and called on the Security Council “to condemn this unjustified criminal act. “

China condemns Israel strike on Iranian consular annex in Syria

China said it condemned the Israeli air strikes.

“China condemns the attack,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said.

“The security of diplomatic institutions cannot be violated, and Syria’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity should be respected,” he said.

“The current situation in the Middle East is turbulent and we oppose any actions that lead to an escalation of tensions,” Wang said.

Pakistan condemns “irresponsible” attack on Iranian embassy

Meanwhile, Pakistan strongly also condemned the attack on the consular section of the Iranian embassy in Syria.

“We offer our deepest condolences to the families of the victims and the people and the Government of Iran,” a press release by the ministry of foreign affairs said.

The statement said that the act was an “unacceptable violation of the sovereignty of Syria”, adding that it undermined the country’s “stability and security”.

“It is a violation of international law and the UN Charter. Attacks against diplomats or diplomatic facilities are also illegal under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 1961,” the statement read.

Moreover, the statement underscored that the “irresponsible” act by Israeli forces was a “major escalation in an already volatile region”.

“We call on the UN Security Council to prevent Israel from its adventurism in the region and its illegal acts attacking its neighbours and targeting foreign diplomatic facilities,” it said.

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