Iran denies Israel hit its positions in Syria - GulfToday

Iran denies Israel hit its positions in Syria

Israeli-Artillery

Israeli soldiers sit in the back of a self-propelled artillery gun positioned along the border with Syria on Sunday. Agence France-Presse

A high-ranking Iranian official on Sunday denied Iranian positions had been hit by Israeli air strikes near the Syrian capital overnight.

“This is a lie and it is not true,” Mohsen Rezaie, the secretary of the Expediency Council, told ILNA news agency in response to Israeli claims its air force struck Iranian positions in the war-torn country.

“Israel and America do not have the power to attack various centres of Iran, while the advisory centres that we have, have not been harmed,” said Rezaie, a former commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards.

“Actions taken jointly by Israel and America in Syria and Iraq are against international regulations and defenders of Syria and Iraq will soon respond to them.”

Iran, along with Russia, has been a key supporter of Syrian President Bashar Al Assad in the country’s devastating civil war that broke out in 2011.

It denies sending professional troops to fight in Syria, saying it has only provided military advisers and organised brigades made up of volunteers from Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

On Saturday, Iran blacklisted US-based think-tank the Foundation for Defence of Democracies and its chief Mark Dubowitz on accusations of being behind “economic terrorism” against the Islamic republic.

The Iranian foreign ministry said in a statement that it had “added the so-called Foundation for Defence of Democracies (FDD) and its director to the sanctions list.”

“The American institution with the deceitful name” and Dubowitz were accused of being involved in “designing, imposing and intensifying the impacts of economic terrorism against Iran,” it said.

The FDD and Dubowitz were blamed for “seriously and actively trying to harm the Iranian people’s security and vital interests,” according to the English-language statement posted on the ministry’s website.

They were accused of doing so through “fabricating and spreading lies, encouraging, providing consultations, lobbying, and launching a smear campaign” against Iran.

As a result, they would be “subject to legal consequences,” it said.

The move would be “without prejudice to any further legal measures that the other administrative, judicial or security institutions and organisations may take” against them and their “collaborators and accomplices.”

Agencies