Biden White House to Iran: Israel did it

by WorldTribune Staff, April 2, 2024

Team Biden quickly scrambled to inform Iran that it had “no involvement” in an Israeli air strike in Syria on Monday that resulted in the deaths of several top Iranian military personnel, a report said.

IRGC Gen. Mohammad Reza Zahedi. / Ali Khara / Fars via Wikimedia CC BY 4.0

Two Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corp (IRGC) generals and five officers were killed as Israel launched targeted strikes on a compound near the Iranian embassy in Damascus. The Biden team went “directly” to Iran and told them it had “no involvement in the [Israeli] strike and … did not know about it ahead of time,” according to a White House National Security Council (NSC) spokesperson and a U.S. official who spoke to Axios.

The air strike killed Gen. Mohammad Reza Zahedi, his deputy Gen. Mohammad Hadi Hajriahimi, and five other officers.

Analysts say it is rare for a U.S. administration to make such a notification to Iran given that the Islamic Republic is the world’s top state sponsor of terrorism and supports several terrorist organizations throughout the Middle East, including Hamas and Hizbullah.

Iran’s state TV reported Tuesday that the country’s Supreme National Security Council, a key decision-making body, met late Monday and decided on a “required” response to the strike. The report said the meeting was chaired by Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, but provided no further details.

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In an online statement, Raisi blamed Israel for the attack, 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.”

“The evil Zionist regime will be punished at the hands of our brave men. We will make them regret this crime and the other ones,” Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said in a message published on his official website.

It was not clear if Iran would respond itself, risking a dangerous confrontation with Israel and its ally the United States, or continue to rely on proxies, including the Lebanon-based Hizbullah terror group and Yemen’s Houthi rebels.

Zahedi was reportedly responsible for the IRGC’s operations in Syria and Lebanon, for Iranian militias there, and for ties with Hizbullah, making him the most senior commander of Iranian forces in the two countries.

Iran’s official news agency IRNA said Tuesday that Iran relayed an important message to the United States late Monday and that it called for a meeting of the UN Security Council. The message to Washington was delivered through a Swiss envoy in Teheran. Switzerland looks after U.S. interests in Iran.

IRNA said Iran holds the United States responsible for the strike.

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