Iran won’t remain silent in face of Israeli actions

TEHRAN, Mar. 15 (MNA) – Early on Sunday, at 1:20 am, at least a dozen ballistic missiles landed inside a vast compound in Erbil that is used by the Mossad, Israel’s external intelligence agency that trains spies.

The missiles were of the Fateh generation, which are domestically made by the IRGC. 

According to Iraqi sources, 9 Israeli officials were killed in the strike, two of whom were Mossad agents. 

Meanwhile, an Iranian news channel has said that the missile attack launched by Iran against targets in Erbil was a response to a previously unreported Israeli drone attack in the western Iranian province of Kermanshah.

Citing sources familiar with the matter, the Arabic-language Al-Alam news television said the missile attack launched by the Islamic Revolution Guard Corps (IRGC), which targeted the headquarters of Israel in Erbil, came in response to a recent Israeli drone attack in the Mahidasht region in western Iran. 

On February 14, a drone attack in Mahidasht conducted by Israel caused a fire in the logistics center of the IRGC in Kermanshah but left no casualties. 

According to the source, Iran had been planning to reply to Israel's attack for a long time, but was "waiting for the circumstances in which Israel is the only one attacked with accuracy and sensitivity, and receives the necessary response."

In response to a question regarding why Erbil was chosen to retaliate against Israel, the source stated that since Israel had launched an attack on Mahidasht from Iraqi Kurdistan, Israel should have received retaliation from the same region.

According to an informed source, the dead and wounded of the IRGC operation were transferred by air ambulance to another Israeli headquarters in Erbil in a matter of hours, while it was reported that the condition of some of those wounded was critical.

The source emphasized that Israel's actions against the Islamic Republic were warned against at various stages and through numerous channels to the Iraqi authorities, but these warnings were not taken into account by the relevant authorities.

According to an informed source, while Israelis are not permitted by Iraqi law to come to this nation and vice versa, Israeli operatives do not have security perks in any country in the region, including Iraqi Kurdistan.

According to the informed official, the two targeted buildings were constructed in a resistant and durable manner for particular purposes, and they served as a gathering and entertainment area for Israelis in the neighborhood, and they are well secured by the Special Forces.

“Central government in Baghdad must ensure nothing will threaten Iran from Iraqi territory” 

Responding to questions in this regard, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said on Monday, “What is clear is that the Iraqi federal government has a definite responsibility to ensure that Iraq's territory does not pose a threat to Iran's neighbor.

Unfortunately, in all the warnings that have been given repeatedly, Iraqi territory has been abused by third parties, counter-revolutionaries and anti-Iranian terrorist groups, and the United States has conducted military operations against Iran from inside Iraq, and the occupying regime in Jerusalem has sabotage bases in Iraq.” 

He added that what Iran has announced to the Iraqi government is that the Tehran-Baghdad friendship is based on respect for the interests and sovereignty and, most importantly, the maintenance of the stability of these relations.

“Our warnings were ignored and one of the centers of conspiracy and sabotage was responsibly attacked,” the spokesman noted. 

In response to a question about whether the action will prevent the continuation of sabotage activities on the Iranian-Iraqi border, the spokesman expressed hope the message had been received. 

“We have already sent messages politically, diplomatically and privately, but we are really at a point where we are being ignored and the security of our borders has been compromised. Some countries are involved in repeated violations of the sovereignty of neighboring countries, including Iraq. They sent troops and occupied their neighboring countries. We see some statements from them that requires them to pay more attention to their responsibilities,” the diplomat asserted. 

The U.S. flew a drone from Ain al-Assad airbase in western Iraq to assassinate Iranian Lt. Gen. Qassem Soleimani in January 2020.

Khatibzadeh then went on to say that it is by no means acceptable that one of Iran’s neighbors with deep relations and different levels of interactions, is the center of threat to Iran. 

Khatibzadeh then said that this is a direct threat against Iran. 

“This is not a threat to a third country. Unfortunately, the Zionist regime has repeatedly created insecurity inside Iran from the Iraqi soil, and some counter-revolutionary rallies have taken place in the Kurdistan region by the terrorist groups in that region. The federal government of Iraq was warned from this podium and they were secretly told many times not to let the borders of Iraq be insecure borders for your neighbor,” he elaborated. 

Khatibzadeh stated that Iran does not tolerate a center of conspiracy, sabotage or dispatch of terrorist groups into Iran, either by counter-revolutionary groups and terrorist groups or by the Zionist regime inside the region. 

“It has been said in meetings and is well known in international law. My expectation from the Iraqi federal government is to end this situation once and for all and not allow its borders to be abused, especially with all the claims that there are about the promotion of relations between the two countries to new levels,” he cautioned. 

The spokesman stated that the Israeli regime should know that Iran has intelligence superiority regarding each and every point where it is present. 

What is clear is that Iran will not keep silent when facing threats from neighboring countries, even if it comes from a country like Iraq that Iran has deeply-rooted ties. 

He added Tehran respects the sovereignty of Iraq and all other countries, but first things first. “They must not let their soil be center of threat against the Islamic Republic.”

In this regard, Iran’s envoy to Baghdad told a news conference in Karbala on Monday, “We respect the sovereignty of Iraq and its government.” 

Iraj Masjedi then cited the double standards and hypocrisy in this regard, posing this question, “Why was the attack on Ain al-Assad carried out?”

He continued, “Because the Americans martyred Abu Mahdi al-Mohandes and General Qassem Soleimani in Iraq, and the Americans had to be held accountable. We had (at that time) only one reaction against the United States, which took place in Ain al-Assad, and the aim was not to target Iraq, but to respond to the Americans.”

The Iranian ambassador added that the Israelis had established a base in the Iraqi Kurdistan Region and they were working against the security of Iran from there. 

“The Islamic Republic of Iran cannot back down from its own security. We have warned the Iraqi Kurdistan Region officials many times, but unfortunately, this base acted against our security and the Islamic Republic acted against it in retaliation,” Masjedi noted. 
According to the ambassador, this has nothing to do with the sovereignty of Iraq and is not disrespectful to the Iraqi people and government.

“We first want you to get rid of these (Israelis) from the region and not do these things. Now, if this is not done, should the Islamic Republic wait for the Israelis to act against our security? This reaction (missile operation) was against the Zionists, neither against the Americans nor against Iraq,” the envoy noted.

He then rejected the claims by Western media that Iran had targeted the U.S. consulate in Erbil, saying, “Why do they say the U.S. consulate was targeted? Not that we like Americans. Everyone knows that we have been fighting the Americans for 40 years and it is not clear how long it will last, but this operation had nothing to do with the Americans. Neither to the U.S. embassy nor to the U.S. consulate,” he stressed. 

Masjedi reiterated that this operation was conducted against a security base acting against Iran in the Erbil area of the Kurdistan Region. 

“The base must be wiped off from Kurdistan. Therefore, the sovereignty of Iraq is highly respected by us. Neither you nor I accept that the Kurdish region should become an Israeli base because they (the Zionists) are acting against the interests of the two nations,” he added. 

Since Naftali Bennett took office in Israel, their approach towards Iran has changed. “Killing Iran with a thousand knife wounds,” a strategy endorsed by the Israeli officials and think tanks such as the Foundation for Defense of Democracies known as FDD, consists of destabilizing the region and darkening Iran’s relations with the neighboring countries, as well as creating insecurity inside Iran to provoke people to confront the government. 

Iranian intelligence forces on Sunday succeeded in dismantling the biggest spy network affiliated to the Mossad in West Azarbaijan province, northwestern Iran, the IRGC reported. Sending spies as Mossad agents to Iran is a big part of the strategy mentioned above. 
Hezbollah chief Seyyed Hassan Nasrallah once said, “Israel is weaker than a spider’s nest.” He was right. Watch out!

First published in Tehran Times

News Code 184886


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