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Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. (Photo: seysd shahaboddin vajedi, via Wikimedia Commons)

Describing last week’s attack on the Iranian consulate in Damascus as a “mistake,” Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Wednesday that Israel “will be punished” for it.

Khamenei made the remarks during his Eid al-Fitr sermon in the Iranian capital of Tehran, after leading mass congregational prayers attended by tens of thousands of people.

Iran’s spiritual guide said the attack on the Iranian consulate amounts to an attack on Iranian soil, referring to the missile strike on the consular affairs building of the Iranian Embassy in the Syrian capital on April 1.

At least 13 people were killed in the Israeli strike, including seven Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) military advisors.

Among the victims were General Mohammad Reza Zahedi, a senior commander of the IRGC’s Quds Force in Syria and Lebanon, and his deputy, General Hadi Haj Rahemi.

“The evil regime made a mistake in this case, and it must and will be punished,” Iran’s supreme leader warned, escalating speculation that retaliatory military action is imminent.

Khamenei also denounced the Israeli onslaught on the besieged Gaza Strip, saying Tel Aviv is incapable of dealing with the Palestinian Resistance and is resorting to child killing.

He also lashed out at Western governments, saying the events in Gaza over the last six months have revealed the “evil nature of Western civilization.”

Vowing Retaliation

Iran’s top political and military leaders have in recent days issued strongly-worded statements, vowing retaliation for the attack that came amid heightened regional tensions.

On April 1, Khamenei issued a stern warning in Hebrew, vowing that Israel would regret its decision to bomb the Iranian consulate in Damascus.

Using his X platform account, Khamenei tweeted in Hebrew, proclaiming that “God’s willing, we will make the Zionists regret their crime of aggression”.

Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, during his visit to Syria on Monday, accused the US of giving Israel the “green light” for the Damascus attack, claiming that the attack was carried out with US-made aircraft and missiles.

Maj. Gen. Yahya Rahim Safavi, the top military advisor to Iran’s Supreme Leader, said none of the Israeli embassies are safe after the Damascus attack.

His remarks came amid reports that 28 Israeli diplomatic missions in the West Asia region have been closed in recent days in anticipation of an Iranian retaliatory strike.

Tensions between the two arch-foes, who do not have diplomatic relations, have been escalating in the wake of Israel’s genocidal war on Gaza.

Meanwhile, in a post on X, Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz emphasized Israel’s readiness to retaliate in the event of an Iranian military strike.

“If Iran attacks from its territory, Israel will respond and attack inside Iran,” he wrote.

(Anadolu, PC)

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