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At UN, U.S. warns Iran not to target it over Syria strike


The United States warned Iran on Tuesday not to retaliate against it for an attack on Iran's embassy compound in Syria, telling the United Nations Security Council it had no prior warning of the strike that Tehran has blamed on Washington's ally Israel.

Monday's strike, which Iran said killed two of its generals and five military advisers, marked one of the most significant attacks yet on Iranian interests in Syria, where Israel has stepped up a long-running campaign against Iran.

"We will not hesitate to defend our personnel and repeat our prior warnings to Iran and its proxies not to take advantage of the situation – again, an attack in which we had no involvement or advanced knowledge – to resume their attacks on U.S. personnel," said Robert Wood, deputy U.S. ambassador to the UN.

Iran told the 15-member Security Council that it reserves the right "to take a decisive response" to the attack, accusing Israel of violating the founding UN Charter, international law and the inviolability of diplomatic and consular premises.

"The United States is responsible for all crimes committed by the Israeli regime," said Zahra Ershadi, Iran's deputy UN ambassador, accusing the U.S. of trying to destabilize Syria and the region and calling it out for supporting Israel in its war in Gaza.

Ershadi called on the Security Council to condemn the attack on Iran's diplomatic premises in Damascus. Wood said that Washington does not yet have confirmation of the status of the building that was struck in Damascus.

"Any confirmed attack on property that was in fact a diplomatic facility would be of concern to the United States," he said. "Diplomatic missions and their property, as well as official diplomatic residences must be protected, even and especially in times of armed conflict."

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres earlier on Tuesday condemned the attack in Damascus, calling on "all concerned to exercise utmost restraint and avoid further escalation," UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said in a statement.

"He cautions that any miscalculation could lead to broader conflict in an already volatile region, with devastating consequences for civilians who are already seeing unprecedented suffering in Syria, Lebanon, the Occupied Palestinian Territory, and the broader Middle East," said Dujarric.

(Cover: Emergency and security personnel work at the site of strikes which hit a building next to the Iranian embassy in capital Damascus, Syria, April 1, 2024. /CFP)

Source(s): Reuters
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