Iran & Allies React to Israeli Attack in Syria

Iran reacted with outrage at the Israeli attack on its consulate in Syria, which killed three Revolutionary Guards commanders and four other military officials on April 1, 2024. Several senior officials threatened punishing revenge on Israel, while Tehran filed a formal protest at the United Nations and issued a demarche with the Swiss embassy, which represents U.S. interests in the Islamic Republic. Iran “warns U.S. leadership not to get dragged in Netanyahu's trap for [the] U.S.," warned Mohammad Jamshidi, the deputy chief of staff for political affairs to President Ebrahim Raisi. "Stay away so you won't get hurt."

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At the United Nations, Iran charged that the attack, reportedly carried out by two Israeli F-35s, was a “flagrant violation of the United Nations Charter, international law, and the foundational principle of the inviolability of diplomatic and consular premises.” An Israeli defense official countered that the facility, which abutted the Iranian embassy in Damascus, was not a consular building and was instead used by the Iranian military. The following are excerpts of the reaction from top Iranian leaders.

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on April 2

“The bold, selfless, general of Islam, Major General Mohammad Reza Zahedi, along with his honorable comrade, General Mohammad Hadi Haj-Rahimi, were martyred by the criminal act of the despised, usurping Zionist regime. May the peace and mercy of God and those that are beloved by Him be upon them and the other martyrs [who were assassinated] in this tragic event. May God’s curse and damnation be upon the leaders of the oppressive, aggressive regime.

“Our martyrs have been granted a sign of the acceptance of their long-term struggle [against the oppressors] from the compassionate God, and they are now enjoying divine blessings in the company of the righteous and those who are beloved by God.

“The evil Zionist regime will be punished by our courageous men. We will make them regret this and other crimes like it, by God's power and strength.”

Supreme Leader Khamenei led funeral prayers on April 4, 2024

Supreme Leader Khamenei on April 10

When they attack the consulate, it is as if they have attacked our soil.”

The evil regime made a mistake and must be punished and it shall be.”


Major General Yahya Rahim Safavi, Military advisor to Supreme Leader Khamenei, on April 7

The embassies of the Zionist regime are no longer safe.”

“The resistance front is ready; how it (the response) will be, we have to wait... confronting this brutal regime is a legal and legitimate right.”


President Ebrahim Raisi on April 2

“Once again, in a terrorist crime and in gross violation of international regulations, the dirty hands of the usurping Zionist regime were stained with the blood of several generals and officers of our country.

“The aggressive and desperate action of the Zionist regime in attacking the consulate building of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Damascus resulted in the martyrdom of Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Zahedi and Brigadier General Mohammad Hadi Haji Rahimi and five of their companions. These warrior generals, who were brave commanders, warriors and veterans of the Sacred Defense era, were in present in Syria as senior advisers in defending the holy shrine of the Infallibles (peace be upon them) and in protection of high Islamic and human values, and proudly joined the caravan of martyrs.

“Condemning this inhumane attack, which is a clear violation of international regulations, I express my condolences to the martyrdom of these brave children of the Islamic land to the supreme leader, the martyr-loving nation of Iran, the comrades of those martyrs in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, and especially their respected families. I pray for these martyrs to be elevated to the highest ranks and to be with the infallible Imams.

“After repeated defeats and failures against the faith and will of the warriors of the Resistance Front, the Zionist regime has put blind assassinations on its agenda in the struggle to save itself, but it should know that it will never achieve its sinister goals with such inhumane measures, and day by day, we have witnessed the strengthening of the resistance front and the disgust and hatred of free nations against their illegitimate nature, and this cowardly crime will not go unanswered.”


Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian on April 1

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran condemns in the strongest terms the illegitimate Israeli regime’s missile attack on the consular section building of the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Damascus on the evening of Monday, April 1, 2024.

“Unfortunately, in this targeted attack on a known diplomatic venue, several anti-terrorism military advisors of the Islamic Republic of Iran, all of whom had diplomatic immunity and were present at the iftar program during the holy month of Ramadan in the building in question at the time of the attack, were martyred.

“Undoubtedly, this despicable and humiliating attack violates the immunity of diplomatic personnel and premises—notably the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Damascus—and clearly violates international regulations, including the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, the 1973 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Crimes against Internationally Protected Persons, Including Diplomatic Agents, and the United Nations Charter. Hence, it is expected that governments and international bodies will express resentment against and strongly condemn this heinous act of aggression and violation of international law.

“In this regard, it is expected that the United Nations, especially the U.N. Security Council and the Secretary-General of the world body, will give a prompt and necessary reaction to confront the illegal actions and violations of international regulations by the Zionist regime of Israel, which are deemed a threat to international peace and security. They are also expected to condemn and express resentment against such criminal and terrorist activities.

“This terrorist attack demonstrates the desperation, helplessness, and strategic disorientation of the Zionist regime as a result of its military, political, and moral failures in the Gaza Strip after six months of a cruel, criminal war, which failed to achieve any victory against the resistance movements as well as the patient and resilient Palestinian nation.

“It is clear that the Zionists, having failed to bring an end to the prowess exhibited by the resistance in the Gaza Strip, are now resorting to desperate and humiliating attempts to bug out of their political and international isolation.

“Now, after the massacre of tens of thousands of Palestinian women, children, and innocent civilians, and the failure to achieve its stated objectives in relation to both the Palestinian nation and resistance movements, the Israeli regime is dangerously and unwisely attempting to expand the domain of war in the region and disrupt peace, making regional and international security a victim of its evil and warlike desires.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran will forcefully and wisely make the aggressor and lame duck Zionist regime regret its latest crime. This illegitimate regime will never escape the inevitable defeat by resorting to such heinous crimes.

“Simultaneously, while warning the international community about the adventurous activities of the fake Israeli regime to expand the scope of the war beyond the occupied Palestinian territories, the Islamic Republic of Iran holds the usurping Zionist regime responsible for the consequences and repercussions of the criminal attack launched on its diplomatic mission in Damascus.

“In this context, the Islamic Republic of Iran reserves its legitimate and inherent right, on the strength of international laws and the United Nations Charter, to respond decisively to such terrorist acts.

“The criminal leaders of the usurping Zionist regime must understand that such humiliating attacks will not compensate for the irreparable failure of the regime during the Al-Aqsa storm operation and the heroic steadfastness of the oppressed but powerful Palestinian nation in the Gaza Strip over the last six months. The Islamic Republic of Iran will steadfastly support the natural rights and legitimacy of the Palestinian nation and shall never retreat one bit.


Letter from the Iranian Mission to the U.N. on April 1

“Excellency, Upon instructions of my Government, I am writing to you regarding the flagrant violation of fundamental norms and principles of international law by the Israeli regime wherein the Israeli occupying regime perpetrated a heinous and abhorrent terrorist attack on the diplomatic premises of the Islamic Republic of Iran in the Syrian Arab Republic. At 4:45 p.m. on 1 April 2024, the Islamic Republic of Iran's diplomatic premises in Damascus were intentionally targeted by missile airstrikes launched by the Israeli regime from the occupied Golan Heights, resulting in the martyrdom and tragic loss of at least five Iranian personnel, including senior military advisors, and the complete destruction of Iran's diplomatic premises in question.

These horrific crimes and cowardly terrorist attacks are a flagrant violation of the United Nations Charter, international law, and the foundational principle of the inviolability of diplomatic and consular premises, as outlined in the 1961 Convention on Diplomatic Relations and the 1963 Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, and the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Crimes Against Internationally Protected Persons including Diplomatic Agents of 1973 and pose a significant threat to regional peace and security.

Considering the far-reaching international implications of such a reprehensible act which can exacerbate tensions in the region and potentially ignite more conflict involving other nations, Iran urges the Security Council to condemn this unjustified criminal act and terrorist attack perpetrated by the Israel regime in the strongest terms possible. Furthermore, Iran calls upon the Security Council to take all necessary measures including through an urgent meeting to address this egregious violation and to prevent future acts aggression that jeopardize the security and safety of diplomatic missions and ensure that those responsible for such criminal acts are swiftly brought to justice.

The aggressor Zionist regime bears full responsibility for its consequences and the Islamic Republic of Iran reserves its legitimate and inherent right under international law and the United Nations Charter to take a decisive response to such reprehensible acts.

I should be grateful if you would circulate the present letter as a document of the Security Council.

Please accept, Excellency, the assurances of my highest consideration.”

Zahra Ershadi, ambassador & deputy permanent representative to the U.N.


Ambassador to Syria Hossein Akbari on April 1

“With extreme brutality, contrary to all international conventions, they targeted my place of residence and the consular section of the embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran; We will reciprocate when we want.”



Syrian Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad on April 1

“We strongly condemn this atrocious terrorist attack that targeted the Iranian consulate building in Damascus and killed a number of innocents.”


Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah on April 5

“The attack on the Iranian consulate is a pivotal moment in this battle.”

“The U.S. has repeatedly voiced a desire to hold talks with Iran but the Islamic Republic was reluctant. Iran has not compromised and will never do so on the regional issues.”

“Relation with Iran is a source of pride, those who must feel ashamed are those who seek to normalize ties with the Zionist entity.”

“Be sure and certain that the Iranian response to the Israeli targeting of the consulate in Damascus is inevitable. Iran’s retaliation to the Israeli strike on the consulate in Syria is inevitable.”

“The folly committed by Netanyahu through targeting the Iranian consulate in Syria will hopefully lead to end this battle and emerge victorious.”

“The timing of the Iranian response is part of the battle, but the timing, place and size of the response are in the hands of the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Imam Sayyed Ali Khamenei and the Iranian leaders.”

“The Israeli enemy has no idea about the post-war scenario in Gaza, Netanyahu has no political horizon. He can neither solve Israeli internal problems, nor deal with the political isolation the Zionist entity faces worldwide.”

“Netanyahu has no choice but to stop the war, and this is a mere defeat.”

“We haven’t used our major weapons yet. Our fighters are going on their home leave as usual.”

“The Resistance in Lebanon doesn’t fear war, we are fully ready to engage in a war that the enemy will regret.”

“The enemy knows well what a war with Lebanon means, if they want war then hello and welcome!”


Hezbollah on April 1

“This crime will not pass without the enemy receiving punishment and revenge.” In a statement, it described General Zahedi as “one of the first to support, sacrifice, and persevere for many years to develop and advance the work of the resistance (Hezbollah) in Lebanon.”

Some of the information in this article was originally published on April 2, 2024.