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Iran FM threatens Israel amid symbolic visit to Damascus


In a message to Israel, Iran sent its foreign minister, Hossein Amirabdollahian, to Damascus on Monday, a week after an airstrike in the city struck a building adjoining its consulate, killing senior Iran Revolutionary Guard Corps commander Mohammad Reza Zahedi. Iran has vowed revenge on Israel, accusing it of the strike.

Amirabdollahian pledging to continue support for the Syrian regime showcases that Iran is not intimidated. He met with his counterpart and other officials at the Iranian embassy and said that “the security of Syria is the security of the region, and these atrocities and crimes will not have any effect on the survival of Netanyahu and his regime,” according to Iran’s Tasnim News. He paid tribute to the Syrian and “Iranian martyrs” during his visit and also slammed Israel.

Tasnim said that he “also explained the efforts and diplomatic, legal and international measures of Iran in response to the crime of the Zionist regime in Damascus. He said: ‘We emphasized the responsibility of the American government as a full-fledged supporter of the Zionist regime to the authorities of this country through appropriate diplomatic channels, as well. We made all the countries of the world aware of the Zionist regime’s crossing of all red lines and violation of laws, treaties, and international laws.’”

Mohammad Reza Zahedi, the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) commander reported to have been killed in an airstrike in Damascus on April 1, 2024. (credit: FARS MEDIA CORPORATION/CREATIVE COMMONS ATTRIBUTION 4.0 INTERNATIONAL / TINYURL.COM/MWSAPNJV)

During the visit, Syria said that it does not recognize the “Zionist regime.” Under the Assad regime, Syria was always one of the holdouts in the region that did not recognize Israel and has considered itself part of the “axis of resistance” linked to Iran. However, the Assad regime has known since the mid-1970s that it will never defeat Israel.

Since the Syrian Civil War broke out in 2011, the regime in Damascus was weakened, and so invited Iran to send over militias and the IRGC. Iran then used Syria as a testing ground for its militias, to move weapons to Hezbollah and drones to Syria.

Starting in 2018, Iran began to increase threats to Israel from Syria, using drones flown from the T-4 base near Palmyra, and built a base near al-Bukamal, called Imam Ali. It also encouraged Hezbollah to open the “Golan file,” and move Hezbollah members closer to the border. Hezbollah has been attacking Israel since October 8.

Russia and Iran manipulate Syria for different goals

Syria has now joined Iran in publicly slamming Israel, claiming it is helping “mobilize” the international community against Jerusalem. However, the real powers behind the throne in Damascus are both Russia and Iran. They may not always agree on everything, but Russia has exploited the Hamas war on Israel for its benefit, which Iran has done as well, hoping to isolate and weaken Israel. Iran’s message, in sending its envoy, is that it will continue to seek to punish Israel. 

WP Radio
WP Radio