Iran warns Israel that regional ‘mischief’ will be met with great force

Revolutionary Guards commander makes comments after reported strike on Iranian ship off Syrian coast and amid unrest in Jerusalem and on Gaza border

Chief of Iran's Revolutionary Guard Gen. Hossein Salami speaks at a pro-government rally in Tehran, Iran, on November 25, 2019. (Ebrahim Noroozi/AP)

Iran’s powerful Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps warned Israel on Monday against carrying out any further “mischiefs,” saying they will be responded to with great force.

The comments, made by commander Gen. Hossein Salami in an interview with the Arabic-language al-Mayadeen news channel, apparently referred to the recent unrest in Jerusalem and at the Gaza border, as well as the shadow maritime war between Tehran and Jerusalem and a recent explosion at a nuclear facility that Iran has attributed to Israel.

“The mischiefs that the Zionists commit in the region will backfire on them. The Islamic Republic of Iran will give an equal and more powerful reaction to any evil act,” said Salami, according to the Fars news agency.

“In the past few days, you have witnessed how their evil deeds did not go unanswered and how some developments happened in the occupied territories, and these incidents and developments will definitely be repeated and will grow greater in the future,” he said.

Revolutionary Guard troops attend a military parade marking the 39th anniversary of the start of the Iran-Iraq war, in front of the shrine of the late revolutionary founder Ayatollah Khomeini, just outside Tehran, Iran, September 22, 2019. (Iranian Presidency Office via AP)

The comments followed similar remarks on Sunday by Iranian Armed Forces Chief of Staff Major General Mohammad Bagheri, who also referred to a reported attack on an Iranian tanker off the Syrian coast on Saturday.

“The Zionists imagine that they can continuously target the Syrian territories and conduct mischief in different places and in the sea and receive no response,” Bagheri said.

Bagheri threatened to “teach Israel a very good lesson,” but stopped short of blaming Jerusalem explicitly for the incident.

Bagheri told reporters: “We don’t announce anything about the incidents that happened recently, nor do we know who did it, but the Resistance Front will teach Israel a very good lesson,” according to several Iranian journalists.

The comments by the military officials came amid recent rising tensions with Iran that have seen the two countries blame each other for attacks on their ships in the region, which caused minor damage, and also an operations-disrupting explosion at a key Iranian nuclear facility that Tehran attributed to Israel.

A screenshot of video aired by Syrian state TV on April 24, 2021, shows a fire on a ship off the coast of Banyas, which Syria says was apparently started after the ship was attacked by a drone. (Screen capture: Twitter)

Further stoking tensions, Gazan armed factions, some of which receive Iranian support, launched over 40 rockets into Israel over the weekend. On Saturday, a number of Palestinian terror groups fired experimental rockets toward the Mediterranean Sea as a show of force.

Palestinian terror groups have said that the weekend’s rocket attacks were in response to ongoing unrest in Jerusalem, where Arab residents demonstrated for several days against Ramadan restrictions on congregating near Jerusalem’s Damascus Gate.

Those restrictions were lifted by police on Sunday evening.

Hamas, the de facto ruler of the Gaza Strip, has at times been supported by Iran, but resisted openly moving too close to hardliners in Tehran. However, last year Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh spoke at the Tehran funeral of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani, crediting the Quds Force leader with building his and other Palestinian groups.

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