Iranian Officials Accuse Israel Of A Deadly Attack On Iran's Consulate In Syria


Iranian Officials Accuse Israel Of A Deadly Attack On Iran's Consulate In Syria | NPR 

Iran said Monday that Israel killed two of its generals and several others in an airstrike on the Iranian consulate in the Syrian capital Damascus. Iranian state media said at least seven members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps' elite overseas wing, known as the Quds Force, were killed when Israeli F-35s struck the building with six rockets, almost entirely demolishing it. Syrian state media said the airstrike leveled the Iranian embassy annex. Israel has not yet commented on the airstrike but Israeli media reported that Israel has placed several embassies around the world on heightened alert after Iran publicly blamed Israel and vowed retaliation. Iranian media identified the top military advisor killed in Monday's airstrike as Brig. Gen. Mohammad Reza Zahedi. His deputy, also a general in the IRGC, and five others were killed in the blast. Zahedi would be the most senior Iranian commander known to have been assassinated since the war in Gaza began. He was Iran's main go-between with the Lebanese-based armed group Hezbollah, which has been fighting Israel across the Lebanese-Israeli border, and which is also supported by Tehran.  

Exclusive: IAEA Chief Says Iran's Nuclear Enrichment Activity Remains High | Reuters 

Iran continues to enrich uranium well beyond the needs for commercial nuclear use despite U.N. pressure to stop it, IAEA chief Rafael Grossi said on Monday, adding he wanted to visit Tehran next month for the first time in a year to end the "drifting apart". Speaking to Reuters after he briefed EU foreign ministers on the subject, the head of the U.N.'s nuclear watchdog said that while the pace of uranium enrichment had slowed slightly since the end of last year, Iran was still enriching at an elevated rate of around 7 kg of uranium per month to 60% purity. Enrichment to 60% brings uranium close to weapons grade, and is not necessary for commercial use in nuclear power production. Iran denies seeking nuclear weapons but no other state has enriched to that level without producing them.  

Exclusive: Iran Alerted Russia To Security Threat Before Moscow Attack, Sources Say | Reuters 

Iran tipped off Russia about the possibility of a major "terrorist operation" on its soil ahead of the concert hall massacre near Moscow last month, three sources familiar with the matter said. In the deadliest attack inside Russia in 20 years, gunmen opened fire with automatic weapons at concertgoers on March 22 at the Crocus City Hall, killing at least 144 people in violence claimed by the Islamic State militant group. "Days before the attack in Russia, Tehran shared information with Moscow about a possible big terrorist attack inside Russia that was acquired during interrogations of those arrested in connection with deadly bombings in Iran," said one source.  


Joe Lieberman Remembered As A Man Of Faith & Integrity | Patheos 

…In 2007, Lieberman endorsed Republican Sen. John McCain for president and lost his seat on the Environment and Public Works Committee. However, he remained chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. More recently, Lieberman was named chairman of United Against Nuclear Iran, which campaigns for sanctions against Iran. And in December 2024, Yeshiva University established the Senator Joseph Lieberman Center for Public Service and Advocacy in his honor.  


Europeans, U.S. Threaten Iran With IAEA Censure | Arms Control Association

European and U.S. officials threatened to pursue action against Iran at the next International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Board of Governors meeting if Tehran does not meet its legally binding safeguards obligations. The agency has been pressing Iran for years to account for the presence of nuclear materials at two sites that were never declared to the IAEA as part of Iran’s nuclear program. The agency assesses that one of the locations, Turquazabad, was used to store nuclear materials and equipment, and the other, Varamin, included a pilot plant for uranium milling and conversion. In a Feb. 26 report, the IAEA said Iran did not provide the agency with “any information on the outstanding safeguards issues relevant to either of the two undeclared locations.”  

IAEA Warns Of Iraq-Like Scenario For Iran Without Transparency | Iran International  

The UN nuclear watchdog cautions that without improved transparency on Iran's nuclear program, it cannot assure its peaceful nature, echoing fears of repercussions akin to the Iraq War. In a Friday interview with PBS, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi expressed concern over Iran's advancements in its nuclear program alongside restrictions placed on IAEA monitoring activities. Grossi emphasized that without full Iranian cooperation, the agency cannot verify that its program is peaceful. The lack of visibility would be a major setback, similar to the situation during the late 1980s and 90s in Iraq. Iraq's lack of cooperation with UN inspections fueled international isolation and ultimately led to the 2003 US-led invasion. While Iraq had pursued WMD programs from the 1960s to 1990s, it declared their destruction in the 1990s. However, concerns arose under US President George W. Bush and UK Prime Minister Tony Blair that these programs continued.  

Under Biden Administration, Iran's Mullahs Enjoying Green Light To Go Nuclear | Gatestone  

The ascent of Iran's nuclear program under the watch of the Biden administration stands as a grim illustration of its failure and inadequacy. Iran's mullahs appear to have been tacitly handed an alarming green light to pursue their nuclear ambitions with impunity. The bleak reality is that time is rapidly running out for concerted action to stop Iran's march towards acquiring nuclear weapons capability. The Biden administration's response, however, has been marked by silence, massive funding of Iran and a conspicuous absence of intervention. The latest reports from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) paint a chilling picture of Iran's unchecked nuclear advancement. Despite mounting concerns worldwide, Tehran has brazenly obstructed IAEA inspectors, thereby thwarting any meaningful oversight of its nuclear facilities. The agency's quarterly report underscores Iran's nightmarish progress, which include stockpiles of enriched uranium surging to levels of up to 84% purity, perilously close to the coveted weapons-grade threshold of 90%.  


How China Ended Up Financing The Houthis’ Red Sea Attacks | Politico 

China is unwittingly helping Iran choke off ship traffic in the Red Sea, impairing global trade flows and damaging Beijing’s own interests in the process, Western intelligence officials say. China’s illicit purchases of Iranian oil are indirectly financing the recent string of attacks by Yemen’s Houthi rebels in the Red Sea and have had a chilling effect on shipping. About 15 percent of global trade flows through the corridor that leads from the Gulf Aden through the Red Sea and the Suez Canal, linking Asia and Europe.  

Iran-India Trade Plummets Amid Sanctions | Iran International  

An Iranian trade official has admitted that trade with India, one of its key partners, has dropped by up to a third due to global sanctions. While the government does its best to downplay the impact of sanctions for Iran's nuclear program, and more recently, its support of Russia's invasion of Ukraine and human rights abuses, the deputy head of the Joint Chamber of Commerce of Iran and India, admitted that "following the intensification of sanctions, trade relations between Iran and India have diminished". It was an understatement however, with Iran reporting that trade in 2023 was down 26 percent from 2022, from $2.5b to $1.8. India's exports to Iran for the period of January to December 2023 decreased by 35 percent to $1.2b, down from $1.8b.  


‘Brutal Stabbing’ Of Exiled Iranian Journalist Prompts Counterterror Investigation | CNN 

A prominent exiled Iranian journalist was stabbed outside his home in London on Friday, prompting British police to launch a counterterrorism investigation. Pouria Zeraati, a television anchor at the UK-based channel Iran International, was reportedly attacked by a group of men outside his home in south-western Wimbledon. The assailants then fled in a car. London Metropolitan Police said in a statement on Friday that Zeraati’s injuries were not believed to be life-threatening and that he was in stable condition. The Met said it is too early to determine a motive for the crime, but given the victim’s occupation “coupled with the fact that there has been a number of threats directed towards this group of journalists in recent times,” the department’s counterterrorism command would be investigating. “We do not know the reason why this victim was attacked and there could be a number of explanations for this. While we continue to assess the circumstances of this incident, detectives are following a number of lines of enquiry,” Commander Dominic Murphy, the head of the command, said in a statement.  

Iran International Presenter Discharged After London Attack | Iran International  

Pouria Zeraati, an Iran International presenter stabbed by unidentified assailants in London, has been discharged from hospital. Zeraati was injured in the leg when leaving his home in London on Friday afternoon. The Standard newspaper, citing an eyewitness, reported on Saturday that two young men stabbed the journalist four times before fleeing the scene while laughing. While the motive is unclear, the attack happened just a few months after a plot by the Iranian regime to kill 2 other Iran International journalists was revealed. London's Metropolitan Police have initiated an investigation into the incident, noting the victim's profession as a reporter for a Persian-language media outlet based in Britain. The attack is being treated with utmost seriousness, especially considering the multiple threats against the channel’s journalists in recent times, with specialist counter-terrorism officers leading the inquiry.  


Pompeo Accuses Biden Administration Of Having ‘Soft Spot’ For Iran Amid Houthi Attacks | The Hill 

Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo accused the Biden administration of having a “soft spot” for Iran amid the Houthi rebels attacking merchant vessels in the Red Sea.  Pompeo, who has been critical of President Biden’s foreign policy course, said the current administration’s approach towards Tehran stems from the Obama administration and that it is not possible to negotiate with the Middle Eastern country. “The Biden administration has this soft spot for Iran,” Pompeo said Sunday in an interview with radio talk show host John Catsimatidis on WABC 770 AM’s “Cats Roundtable.” “Since the very beginning. It’s something that came from the Obama team.” Pompeo highlighted the current administration lifting the terrorist designation for Houthis in Yemen and further lamented that, in his view, it is not possible to negotiate with Tehran.  


As Biden Supports 'Trans Day Of Visibility,' Iran Cracks Down On The LGBT Community | Jerusalem Post 

The capital city of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Tehran, announced in early March that transgender people should not appear in popular sections of the metropolis. The Tehran city council directive to ostracize transgender people coincides with US President Biden declaring that March 31 is "Transgender Day of Visibility.” The US government-funded news organization Radio Farda reported that Tehran city council spokesman Alireza Nadali said transgender people should not congregate at heavily crowded locations such as the Valiasr Intersection. "We're not sweeping the issue under the rug. There should be an inclusive space for them, just not in this busy area," Nadali said.Radio Farda said Valiasr Intersection is a “ focal point in Tehran for both its cultural significance and as a site of major public gatherings, including protests.”  

US Denounces Severe Sentences For Civil Activists In Iran | Voice Of America 

The U.S. Department of State has strongly condemned the Iranian government’s imposition of harsh sentences on 11 women's rights activists in Gilan province. The department's spokesperson denounced the sentences as "unjust" and characterized them as "an attempt to intimidate and suppress their voices." Matthew Miller, the spokesperson for the Department of State, criticized the legal proceedings concerning human rights activists in Iran as "fabricated," in response to a query from Voice of America’s Persian Service during a press briefing on Thursday. He asserted, "The Iranian regime aims to intimidate and silence the voices of these brave women through such verdicts." On Wednesday, Iran’s Third Branch of the Revolutionary Court in the city of Rasht handed down a combined 60-year prison term to 11 women's rights activists who were arrested in Gilan in August 2023.  

Iran Is Preparing To Murder A Hip-Hop Artist For Committing . . . Music | New York Post 

In 2022, Iran had a 22-year-old woman murdered for improperly wearing a hijab. Now, it’s preparing to have a 33-year-old killed just for rapping about it. It’s only more evidence of the lengths to which Tehran’s mullahs will go to oppress dissidents and maintain iron-fisted control over the country — and, indeed, over every aspect of Iranian life.  On Oct. 30, 2022, Iran’s goons arrested Toomaj Salehi, a 33-year old Iranian hip-hop artist, and detained him in its notorious Isfahan prison. His crime: committing music.  


Israeli Strikes On Syria Kill Dozens, Security Sources Say | Reuters 

Israeli strikes on the northern Syrian city of Aleppo early on Friday killed 38 people, including five members of Lebanese armed group Hezbollah, two security sources said. The Syrian defence ministry said earlier on Friday that a number of civilians and military personnel were killed after Israel and militant groups launched attacks against Aleppo. The Israeli airstrikes targeted several areas in Aleppo's countryside at about 1:45 a.m. local time (2245 GMT), the ministry said a statement. The airstrikes coincided with drone attacks carried out from Idlib and western rural Aleppo that the ministry described as having been conducted by "terrorist organisations" targeting civilians in Aleppo and its surroundings.  

Russia Uses Iranian Drones In Intense Air Campaign Against Ukraine | Iran International  

Ukraine's Air Force disclosed that Russian forces conducted attacks overnight, launching four missiles into eastern Ukraine and launching 12 Iranian-made Shahed drones across the country. According to Ukrainian authorities, nine of the drones were successfully intercepted and shot down in various regions, including Dnipropetrovsk, Kherson, Odesa, and Poltava. Fortunately, there were no immediate reports of casualties resulting from these attacks. The recent escalation comes amidst a sustained air-strike campaign by Russia, targeting Ukraine's energy sector. Over the past week, Russian forces have fired a total of 190 rockets, 140 Shahed drones, and 700 anti-aircraft missiles, leading Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to denounce it as a "dramatic increase in Russia’s air terror." The intensification of Russia attacks comes after months of inaction by the US Congress to renew military assistance to Ukraine.  


Only Two Hotels Constructed In Tehran Since Revolution | Iran International  

Iran's Deputy Tourism Minister Ali-Asghar Shalbafian has announced that since the revolution, only two hotels have been built in the capital, pointing to the country's dire tourism situation under clerical rule. “After the revolution, only two hotels have been built in Tehran, and one of the reasons for the lack of hotel construction in cities is the high municipal fees, which dissuades people from venturing into hotel development,” he added, blaming bureaucracy. The revelation comes amidst a broader context of the crisis facing Iran's tourism industry in a country with a once vibrant tourism industry. Concerns about safety and the risk of arbitrary detention by authorities have deterred foreign travelers, despite Iran's rich cultural and historical attractions. The Iranian government's history of seizing foreign nationals for political leverage or espionage charges has fostered an atmosphere of uncertainty for tourists.  

Iran's Ambassador To Azerbaijan Dismissed After Interview With Unveiled Reporter | The National 

Iran's ambassador to Azerbaijan has reportedly been dismissed from his role after an interview with a female reporter who appeared without her hijab. Abbas Mousavi, who previously served as spokesman for Iran's Foreign Ministry, will be replaced by a new envoy to Baku, state outlet IRNA and Tasnim News, affiliated with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), reported at the weekend. It comes after Tasnim posted a scathing critique of Mr Mousavi following an interview with an Azeri journalist for Baku TV, criticising the envoy for speaking with a woman not wearing the hijab. he interview was held in Iran's embassy in Azerbaijan, according to Tasnim, which criticised the Baku TV reporter for her clothing and not wearing the hijab, which, although mandatory in Iran, is not required in public in Azerbaijan. While state outlets did not confirm his replacement was due to the interview, official media has called for his resignation in the two weeks since the interview was aired.  


Activists Hail Senate Move To Advance Iran Sanctions Bill | Iran International  

The MAHSA Act, a bill that strengthens US sanctions against Iran’s rulers, will be going to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, 14 months after it passed the House. The Mahsa Amini Human rights and Security Accountability Act (MAHSA Act) was first introduced to the US Congress in January 2023, four months after the start of nationwide protests in Iran. The bill was a response to the regime’s brutal crackdown of the uprising, and was named after the young woman whose killing by the police started it all. Mahsa Amini was a 22-year old Kurdish-Iranian woman who was detained in Tehran for not covering her hair fully. She received severe head injuries in custody and died in hospital on September 16, 2022. Her namesake bill passed the US House a year after her death –almost unanimously, 410 to 3. It requires the US government to impose applicable sanctions on Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, his Office and his appointees, Iran’s president and a number of entities affiliated with the Khamenei.  


U.S. Tells Iran It "Had No Involvement" In Israel Strike | Axios 

The U.S. told Iran that it "had no involvement" or advanced knowledge of an Israeli strike on a diplomatic compound in Syria that killed a senior Iranian general, according to a U.S. official. The big picture: The rare message shows the Biden administration is deeply concerned that the Israeli strike could lead to a regional escalation and the resumption of attacks by pro-Iranian militias against U.S. forces. Brig. Gen. Mohammad Reza Zahedi is the most senior Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps officer to be killed since the U.S. assassinated Qassen Soleimani in 2020. A National Security Council spokesperson told Axios that the U.S. "had no involvement in the [Israeli] strike and we did not know about it ahead of time." A senior U.S. official said the U.S. "has communicated this directly to Iran". Zoom in: Iran has vowed to seek revenge and accused Israel — which flattened a diplomatic building in Damascus with its airstrike — of a "breach of all international conventions.  

Iran Not Likely To Retaliate After Alleged Israeli Strike: ‘Not Ready’ | Fox News 

Iran is not likely to respond directly against the Jewish state but rather use its proxies to do the job, after a top commander of its Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) was killed in an apparent Israeli airstrike on the Iranian embassy in Damascus. "Given the target and location of the strike – at a building adjacent to the consulate — I expect the Iranians to respond," Bill Roggio, managing editor of Long War Journal, told Fox News Digital. "It is difficult to say how the Iranians respond," Roggio said. "The Iranians may try to target Israelis overseas, and may also leverage its militias – Hezbollah, the Houthis, and the Iraqi and Syria militias, to strike at targets within Israel." Roggio’s comments come after Mohammad Reza Zahedi, a senior IRGC commander, was reportedly killed Monday in an air strike on the Iranian consulate in the Syrian capital, according to a report from Reuters.  


Iranian Journalist Stabbed In London Discharged And ‘Residing At Safe Place’ | The Guardian 

The Iranian International TV presenter who was stabbed outside his home in west London last week has said he has left hospital and is staying in a safe place. Pouria Zeraati, 36, said he was on the mend after his traumatic ordeal on Friday afternoon and thanked people for the kind messages and “love” they had sent him during his stay in hospital. “Fortunately, I am feeling better, recovering, and I have been discharged from the hospital,” he posted on X. “My wife and I are residing at a safe place under the supervision of the Met police.”