How will Iran respond to Israel’s attack on its Damascus consulate?

Iranians rally in Tehran to mark Quds Day and the funeral of IRGC members who were killed in an Israeli air strike on the Iranian consulate in the Syrian capital Damascus on April 5, 2024 [Majid Asgaripour/WANA (West Asia News Agency) via Reuters]
Published April 8,  2024

Analysts say Iran is under pressure to respond in kind to Israel’s assassination of a senior Iranian commander in Damascus, but Tehran’s options are limited.

Iran has vowed retaliation for an Israeli attack on its consulate in Damascus last Monday.

The strike was part of a pattern of escalated Israeli attacks in Syria since the eruption of the Gaza war last October. These attacks have often targeted warehouses, trucks, and airports, and Israel’s declared aim for them is degrading Iran’s transnational supply network for the Lebanese group Hezbollah.

Monday’s attack was different, however, in that it struck a diplomatic facility – directly challenging Iran’s sovereignty – and killed senior leaders in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

The most high-profile casualty was Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Zahedi, a veteran commander who led the IRGC foreign operations wing, the Quds Force, in Syria and Lebanon.

How will Iran respond? As it turns out, Tehran has a lot of options – but none of them are very good.

Allies and power politics

A major player in Middle East politics, Iran generally projects its power through a network of ideologically aligned allies and non-state groups – a network that styles itself the “Axis of Resistance”.



RELATED: Iran’s Top Military Adviser: No Embassies of ‘Zionist Regime Are Safe’

Published April 7, 2024

Following what Iran said was an Israeli airstrike that killed two Iranian generals along with five officers at the Iranian embassy in Damascus, Syria, on Monday, Iran’s top military adviser on Sunday warned Israel that none of its embassies were safe.

“None of the embassies of the Zionist regime are safe anymore,” Iran’s top military adviser, Gen. Rahim Safavi, said, according to the conservative Iranian publication Kayhan, or The Cosmos as it’s known in English.

In response, according to the Jewish Voice, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned, “Whoever harms us or plans to harm us, we will harm them.”



RELATED: Iran threatens Israeli embassies as Gallant says country prepared for ‘any scenario’

Iranian state media publishes graphic of missiles it claims can hit Israel, as it promises to avenge 7 IRGC personnel killed in Syria airstrike it blames on Jewish state

Pic: Defense Minister Yoav Gallant (left) meets with the chief of the IDF’s Operations Directorate, Maj. Gen. Oded Basiuk (center), and the chief of the Military Intelligence Directorate, Maj. Gen. Aharon Haliva, at his office in Tel Aviv, April 7, 2024. (Ariel Hermoni/Defense Ministry)
Published April 7,  2024

An adviser to Iran’s supreme leader on Sunday appeared to threaten an attack on Israeli embassies, days after a strike on an Iranian consular building in Damascus that Tehran blamed on Israel killed seven members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

“The embassies of the Zionist regime are no longer safe,” Yahya Rahim Safavi, senior adviser to Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, was quoted as saying by the ISNA news agency, adding that Tehran viewed confrontation with Israel as a “legitimate and legal right.”

The news agency also published a graphic that it claims showcases nine types of Iranian missiles it says are capable of hitting Israel.

Meanwhile, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said Sunday that Israel is ready to respond to any attack by the Islamic Republic, stating that Israel has “completed preparations for a response against any scenario that would develop against Iran.”




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