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Iran’s foreign minister says U.S. gave Israel ‘green light’ to attack Syrian consulate

DAMASCUS, Syria — Iran’s foreign minister Monday accused the United States of giving Israel the “green light” for a strike on its consulate building in Syria that killed seven Iranian military officials including two generals.

Hossein Amirabdollahian reiterated Tehran’s vows that it will respond to the attack, widely blamed on Israel, that appeared to signify an escalation of Israel’s targeting of military officials from Iran, which supports terrorist groups fighting Israel in Gaza, and along its border with Lebanon.

Iran has long vowed to destroy Israel.

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah in an address Monday reiterated the Iran-backed group’s support for a Tehran military response to the attack that killed Gen. Mohammad Reza Zahedi, a senior military official in the Iranian Revolutionary Guard’s Quds Force.

“I’d like to say with a very loud voice from here in Damascus that America has a responsibility in what happened and must be held responsible,” Amirabdollahian told reporters in Damascus during a visit where he met his Syrian counterpart, Faisal Mekdad, who condemned both the strike and Israel’s offensive in Gaza. Amirabdollahian also met President Bashar Assad, with whom he discussed Gaza and the wider situation in the region, a statement from Assad’s office said.

The Iranian foreign minister, who earlier that day inaugurated the opening of a new consular section in a nearby building, justified his claims by saying that Washington and “two European countries” did not condemn the attack on the diplomatic building.

The Biden administration has insisted that it had no advance knowledge of the airstrike. Washington is Israel’s vital military ally.

Israel said it had no comment on the strike in the Syrian capital. However, Pentagon spokeswoman Sabrina Singh said last week that the U.S. has assessed Israel was responsible.

Earlier Monday, Israeli airstrikes over southern Lebanon killed Ali Ahmad Hussein, an elite commander of Hezbollah’s secretive Radwan Force. Hezbollah announced Hussein’s death, but did not give any details on the circumstances or his role with the group in line with how it makes public the deaths of its members.

The killing of Hussein, one of the most senior terrorists slain thus far, came ahead of the Iranian foreign minister’s visit to Syria.

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