Iranian Official Warns Israel That Its Embassies Are Not Safe After Deadly Damascus Strike


Iranian Official Warns Israel That Its Embassies Are Not Safe After Deadly Damascus Strike | NBC News 

A top Iranian military adviser on Sunday warned Israel that none of its embassies were safe following a strike in Damascus last week blamed on Israel that killed 12 people, including two elite Iranian generals. Regional tensions have threatened to draw the Middle East into a wider conflict as Israel’s war against Hamas marks six months. Israel has been preparing for an Iranian response to the strike without directly acknowledging its involvement. The remarks by Gen. Rahim Safavi signaled that the attack on a diplomatic mission could be met with a similar response. “None of the embassies of the (Israeli) regime are safe anymore,” Safavi, a military adviser to Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, was quoted as saying by the semi-official Tasnim agency. Safavi spoke at a memorial ceremony in Tehran for the Iranian Revolutionary Guard generals who were killed in the strike that flattened an Iranian consular building in Damascus.  

Iran's Foreign Minister Visits Oman On Regional Tour | Reuters 

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian travelled to Oman on Sunday on the first leg of a regional tour, the ministry said, almost a week after a suspected Israeli strike on the Iranian consulate in Damascus. "Amirabdollahian is travelling to Oman as the first destination of his regional tour at the head of a political and parliamentary delegation. Bilateral and regional issues such as Gaza will be discussed," the ministry said. Suspected Israeli warplanes bombed Iran's embassy compound in Syria on Monday in a strike that Iran said killed seven Revolutionary Guards commanders, including three senior members. The United States is on high alert and preparing for a possible attack by Iran targeting Israeli or American assets in the region in response, a U.S. official said on Friday.

Iran To Release Four Activists Jailed For Spying After Six Years | Bloomberg 

Four Iranian environmental activists jailed on security charges are set to be released after more than six years in prison, their lawyer said. The individuals - Houman Jokar, Niloufar Bayani, Sepideh Kashani and Taher Ghadirian - are expected to be released “over the next few days,” their lawyer Hojjat Kermani told Bloomberg News on Sunday. The four were among at least seven environmentalists arrested in early 2018 and sentenced to as long as 10 years in prison for allegedly spying on Iranian military compounds and collaborating with the US government, according to Iran’s judiciary. Bayani, who studied in Canada and the US, had been monitoring the status of the endangered Persian cheetah. Ghadirian is also a cheetah specialist. They’re among hundreds of prisoners who’ve been pardoned or had their sentences commuted in honor of the end of the holy Muslim month of Ramadan, Kermani said.  


US Concessions Fuel Tehran's Nuclear Ambitions And Internal Oppression | Iran International  

…Though US sanctions may still be in place, that doesn’t mean they are being enforced. For example, the US reportedly agreed to a diplomatic arrangement with Iran in 2023 that included “stepping back from seizing Iranian oil cargoes.” According to the advocacy group, United Against a Nuclear Iran, the Islamic Republic had generated approximately $80 billion in revenue from oil sales between 2021-2023, hitting a five-year high in 2023. As noted in a recent Congressional Research Service (CRS) report, observers have speculated “competing global interests, a desire not to escalate tensions with China, or the pursuit of lower petroleum prices may have also informed the Biden Administration’s Iran sanctions policy in a way that de-prioritized the enforcement of sanctions.”  

Pouria Zeraati: Stabbed Iranian TV Host Says He Will Be Back On Air Soon | BBC News 

...Mr Aarabi, who works for the US-based campaign group United Against Nuclear Iran, said he believes this was a targeted attack and Mr Zeraati has said on social media that it was "purposefully planned". "Nothing was stolen from Pouria, his phone, he had brand new Apple AirPods, his wallet with cash in it and a valuable watch - they weren't interested in taking anything of value," said Mr Aarabi. "It could be a local gang who have been paid to do this - we know the Iranian regime has been accused of this before. The regime may have also flown in its operatives.  

Could Israel’s Strike On Iranian Embassy Be The Tipping Point Into Wider Regional Conflict? | The Telegraph  

…Kasra Aarabi, the director of IRGC research at United Against Nuclear Iran, said: “The fact that Israel was able to gather intelligence of a meeting between the highest levels of IRGC commanders in Syria … sends a very, very powerful signal to the Islamic Republic of Iran. “It can strike wherever they may be.” Israel is believed to have carried out dozens of strikes on Iranian targets in Syria since Hamas, a terrorist group backed by Tehran, launched its brutal attack on Oct 7. But this was by far the most significant – both in terms of where the strike took place and who it killed. Zahedi oversaw the IRGC’s operations in Syria, Lebanon, and Palestinian territories and fought on the front line with Hezbollah against Israel during the 2006 war making him the most senior commander to be killed since a US drone strike killed Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad in 2020.  


Oil Prices To Remain High As Israel-Iran Geopolitical Risks Increase, Pimco Reports | World Oil  

Oil prices are likely to remain at current highs as geopolitical risk factors increase, but the next significant price jump would likely come if Israel attacks Iran’s energy facilities, said Greg Sharenow, head of the commodity portfolio management group at Pacific Investment Management Co LLC. Brent crude rallied more than 2% to climb above $90 a barrel on Thursday after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to retaliate to any attack from Iran, despite the United States urging Israel to protect civilians. “The way in which I think it really impacts the broader oil balances is whether Israel responds by looking to attack Iranian energy infrastructure,” Sharenow said in an interview, adding that it would be one way to weaken Iran by lessening its oil revenues.  

Iranian Rial Collapses, 'Loses 30% Of Value' – Reports | Jerusalem Post 

Yesterday, a sharp crash in the value of the Iranian Rial was reported, with some sources reporting that one USD would now be worth over 660,000 Iranian Rials in some unofficial markets. Others stressed that the already weak currency suffered a blow, leading to the loss of 30% of its worth overnight, despite the regime’s official digits showing no major changes. One member of the Majlis (the Iranian parliament) demanded to know from chair Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf which steps the authorities are going to take. He called on the parliament to meet with the governor of the country’s central bank and wondered, “If we don't have money, why are we printing more? And if we do have money, why is it so costly?”  


Iran Has Nine Missiles Capable Of Reaching Israel. What Are They? | Al-Arabiya News

A semi-official Iranian news agency on Sunday released an infographic outlining nine missiles from Iran’s arsenal capable of reaching Israel, as Tehran has vowed to retaliate for a deadly strike attributed to Israel on its consulate in Damascus. Here’s a breakdown of the Iran-made missiles capable of reaching Israel, as reported by the ISNA news agency: 1. Sejjil Range: 2,000-2,500 kilometers (1,243-1,553 miles) Speed: Mach 12-14 2. Khorramshahr 4 (Khaibar) Range: 2,000 kilometers (1,243 miles) Speed: Mach 16 outside the atmosphere; Mach 8 inside the atmosphere 3. Emad Range: 2,000 kilometers (1,243 miles) Speed: Mach 7.2 4. Shahab Range: 2,000 kilometers (1,243 miles) Speed: Mach 7 5. Qadr Range: Up to 1,950 kilometers (1,212 miles) Speed: Mach 9 6. Paveh Range: 1,650 kilometers (1,025 miles) Speed: 600-900 km/h (373-559 mph) 7. Khaibarshekan Range: 1,450 kilometers (901 miles) Speed: Over 5,000 km/h (3,107 mph) 8. Fattah 2 Range: Over 1,400 kilometers (870 miles) Speed: Mach 5 9. Haj Qassem Range: 1,400 kilometers (870 miles) Speed: Mach 5  


Israel Prepared To Handle Any Developments With Iran, Defence Chief Says | Reuters 

Israel's defence minister said on Sunday the country was ready to handle any scenario that may develop with its foe Iran as it stayed on alert for a possible retaliatory attack to the killing of Iranian generals on April 1. Defence Minister Yoav Gallant's office made the statement after he held an "operational situation assessment" with senior military officers. "Upon completing the assessment, Minister Gallant emphasized that the defense establishment has completed preparations for responses in the event of any scenario that may develop vis-à-vis Iran," his office said. Iran has threatened to respond to a suspected Israeli strike in Damascus that killed seven Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps members, among them a senior commander. A senior adviser to Iran's Supreme Leader, Yahya Rahim Safavi, said on Sunday that none of Israel's embassies were safe anymore and that Tehran viewed confrontation with Israel as a "legitimate and legal right."  

Debate Continues In Tehran About How To Respond To Israel | Iran International  

Many regional countries would like to see Iran directly involved in a war with Israel, because it will inflict great damage on the country, two commentators told the media in Tehran. Government controlled media in Tehran has been abuzz with bellicose statements by some officials and at the same time warnings of remaining cool-headed by many pundits, following Israel’s April 1 air strike that killed seven IRGC officers in the Iranian embassy in Damascus. The leadership of the Islamic Republic, and particularly Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei face a challenging political dilemma - launch a forceful retaliatory attack and risk a wider war, possibly involving the United States, or exercise restraint and look for less dramatic alternatives. However, Tehran’s proxies around the region, its domestic supporters, and even ordinary Iranians opposed to the government, might see any hesitation as a sign of weakness. Former chairman of Iranian parliament’s national security and foreign policy committee, Heshmatollah Falahatpisheh, stated on Sunday that, “The interests of all actors in the region today lie in dragging Iran into war. In the current situation, Iran is alone.  

Netanyahu Spokesperson On Iran Threat: ‘We Don’t Seek Wars’ But Will ‘Do Whatever It Takes To Defend Ourselves’ | The Hill  

Tal Heinrich, a spokesperson for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, emphasized Israel is not seeking a war with Iran but will do “whatever it takes” to defend itself after Tehran vowed to revenge an alleged Israeli strike on the Iranian embassy in Syria. An alleged Israeli strike on the Iranian consulate building next to Tehran’s embassy in Damascus, Syria, killed a senior commander overseeing Iranian military activity in Syria and Lebanon, along with another top general and five officers. Iranian Supreme Court Ayatollah Ali Khamenei vowed revenge in a speech this week, stating they will be “slapped for these acts.” Heinrich, in an interview with NewsNation’s “The Hill Sunday,” echoed Israel Defense Forces spokesperson Daniel Hagari, who said the strike on the consulate building was “not a diplomatic mission of any sort of kind.”  


Iran Arrests Afghan Dissidents Claiming They Are ISIS | Iran International  

Iranian police arrested the relatives of a commander of the National Resistance Front of Afghanistan accusing them of being “senior members of ISIS" in the city of Karaj near Tehran. Sources close to the National Resistance Front of Afghanistan (NRF) have revealed that the detainees are actually relatives of a slain commander of the NRF, which is at war with Afghanistan's ruling Taliban extremists. According to sources cited by the Afghan newspaper Hasht-e Subh, those arrested in Iran are relatives of Kheirmohammad Andarabi, a slain NRF commander who sought refuge in Iran due to threats from the Taliban. The confusion arose when Iranian police spokesperson, Saeed Montazerolmahdi, announced the arrest of Mohammad Zaker (AKA Ramesh), described as a "senior member and operational commander of ISIS," along with two other members in Mahdasht, Karaj. The police claimed that the arrests were made following “extensive intelligence efforts” and thwarted planned suicide attacks during Eid al-Fitr.  


Turner: Americans In Middle East 'Remain In Danger' Amid Iran's Threats | CNN 

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Mike Turner tells CNN's Jake Tapper that the recent Israeli attack on Iranian military commanders and the Iranian vow to retaliate "certainly does escalate the issue throughout the entire region." 

Biden Is Working To Prevent Escalation In Iran, Sen. Schumer Says | NBC News  

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said President Joe Biden and his team are working to prevent escalation in Iran amid high tensions in the Middle East. 


Iran's Foreign Minister Continues Regional Tour With Syria | Reuters 

Iran's Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian left Oman to visit Syria's capital Damascus a week after Iran's consulate there was targeted in a suspected Israeli attack, state media reported on Monday. Iran has vowed to avenge the death of seven of its Revolutionary Guards commanders who were killed in the attack, with a senior adviser to the Supreme Leader saying on Sunday that Israeli embassies were no longer safe. Amirabdollahian started a regional tour on Sunday in Muscat, where he met Omani officials and a representative of Yemen's Houthis Mohamed Abdelsalam, who said the Iranian-backed militant group would continue to target Israel-bound ships until a ceasefire is reached in Gaza. "The attack on Iran's embassy building in Damascus is a new step in Israel's warmongering and its attempt to expand war regionally," Amirabdollahian said while in Oman.  

Strike On Iran's Consulate In Syria Is 'Turning Point,' Hezbollah's Nasrallah Says | Jerusalem Post 

The head of the Lebanese terrorist group Hezbollah said on Friday that Israel's strike on Iran's consulate in Damascus this week marked a "turning point" since Oct. 7, when Hamas launched an attack on Israel that has led to escalating regional tensions. The Damascus strike on Monday killed seven Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps members, among them a senior Quds Force commander, Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Zahedi. Iran has vowed revenge. Iran-backed Hezbollah has said it supports Iran's right to "punish" Israel, and in televised remarks on Friday, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said the response was coming.  


Iran's FM Embarks On Regional Tour After Consulate Attack | Iran International  

Shoring up support for a possible retaliation to last week's Israeli attack on Iran's consulate in Syria, Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian has embarked on a regional tour. Arriving in Oman on Sunday, his visit comes just days after the deadly strike which resulted in the deaths of seven Revolutionary Guards, including senior members. "Leading a delegation of political and parliamentary representatives, discussions will encompass bilateral and regional matters, including Gaza," stated the Iranian foreign ministry, referring to the Gaza war sparked by Iran-backed Hamas's attack on Israel on October 7. A US official has warned of increased vigilance and readiness for potential Iranian retaliation targeting Israeli or American assets in the region as fears grow for US personnel, and in Israel, veiled announcements of countering any threats at home and abroad have been vocal from both the military and political leadership.  

Oman Urges De-Escalation During Iran FM Visit | Voice Of America 

Oman's foreign minister called Sunday for de-escalation during a visit by his Iranian counterpart who started a regional tour in Muscat where he met a spokesperson for Yemen's Houthi rebels. The visit by Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian came almost a week after an airstrike in Damascus leveled the Iranian Embassy's consular annex and further raised regional tensions. The attack, which Tehran blamed on Israel, killed seven Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps members including two generals. Iranian leaders have called for retaliation. "Oman supports efforts to reduce escalation in the region, address various issues and conflicts, and for the voice of wisdom to prevail," Foreign Minister Sayyid Badr al-Busaidi said in a statement carried by the official Oman News Agency. Oman has long been a mediator between Tehran and the West.  

Two Vessels Targeted Southwest Of Yemen's Aden - UK Security Firm | Iran International  

British security firm Ambrey said it had received information indicating that a vessel was attacked on Sunday in the Gulf of Aden about 102 nautical miles southwest of Mukalla in Yemen. "Vessels in the vicinity were advised to exercise caution and report any suspicious activity," the firm said. It did not say who was responsible for the attack or give further details. Separately, a missile landed near a vessel in the Gulf of Aden on Sunday but there was no damage to the ship or injuries to crew in the incident, 59 nautical miles southwest of the Yemeni port of Aden, the United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) agency said. "The Master of the vessel reports a missile impacted the water in close proximity to the vessel’s port quarter," UKMTO said in an advisory note. "No damage to the vessel reported and crew reported safe," it added. It did not say who fired the missile or give further details.  


Shin Bet Says Iran Was Behind Funeral Bouquet Sent To Taunt Hostage’s Family | Times Of Israel  

The Shin Bet security agency said on Sunday it suspected Iran was behind the delivery of a wreath of flowers to the family home of hostage Liri Albag, in the Yarhiv farming community in central Israel’s Sharon region. The wreath, of the kind laid at graves, was delivered on Friday with a note reading: “May her memory be a blessing, we all know that the country is more important.” The Shin Bet said it would continue investigating the incident. The agency’s announcement that Iran was “most likely” behind the bouquet quelled speculation on social media that it had been sent by loyalists of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who are dissatisfied with increasingly vocal criticism of the premier from the families of the hostages.  Before the Shin Bet’s announcement, the Hostages and Missing Families Forum said that it “vigorously condemns the violent behavior against the family of Liri Albag,” promising a comprehensive investigation “led by the Forum’s security officer.”