In yet another thinly veiled threat to Israel, Iran said Tuesday that in the event of a U.S. attack on Iranian ally Syria, some groups may retaliate by striking the Jewish state.
The Associated Press quoted Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian as having said at a briefing Tuesday that if the U.S. launches a military strike against Syria, Israel would be under threat from “some groups and movements that have formed over the past two or three years.”
He would not elaborate.
Abdollahian said Iran welcomes Russia's initiative calling for Syria to place its chemical weapons under international control.
At the same time, he insisted that Iran has proof that the chemical attack last month was launched by Syrian rebels, not government forces as the U.S. claims.
Since rumors began that the U.S. may launch a strike in Syria in response to the chemical attack on August 21, Iran and Syria have several times threatened to retaliate by hitting Israel.
Last week, senior Iranian official Alaeddin Boroujerdi warned that a U.S.-led military strike on Syria could backfire on the entire region, particularly against American and Israeli interests.
“We think self-restraint exercised by U.S. President Barack Obama, this American approach, serves America's interest on the one hand and the Zionist entity's on the other because any political miscalculation in this regard could negatively backfire on the situation of the whole region,” Boroujerdi said.
Iran is a close ally of Assad and has provided him with military support during his fight against rebels trying to topple his regime.
Former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad personally sanctioned the dispatch of officers from the Iranian Revolutionary Guards to Syria to fight alongside Assad’s troops.