Iran vows to punish Israel for Syria air raid
A senior Iranian official has pledged that the Islamic Republic will punish Israel for the recent airstrikes on Syria that killed over a dozen people, including seven Iranian military advisors.
The punishment of the aggressor is certain but the Islamic Republic of Iran would decide on the time, place and way of giving a response to this “act of evil”, Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Ali Shamkhani told reporters on Tuesday before leaving Tehran to attend an international security conference in Russia’s Sochi.
“When a regime assumes the right to violate another country’s airspace in a planned move and also target forces fighting with terrorism, it should have definitely considered its consequences and retaliatory reactions,” he said.
Russia’s Defense Ministry said on April 9 that two Israeli F-15 warplanes carried out strikes from Lebanese air space on the T-4 air base on April 8.
“Two F-15 planes of the Israeli army hit the airbase between 03:25 am and 03:53 am Moscow time (0025 GMT and 0053 GMT) with the help of eight missiles controlled remotely from Lebanese territory, without entering Syrian air space,” the ministry said.
The Syrian state media also reported that the deadly attack was carried out by Israeli warplanes.
“The Israeli attack on the T-4 airport was carried out with F-15 aircraft that fired several missiles from above Lebanese territory,” a Syrian military source said.
Shamkhani further said, “The Islamic Republic of Iran has paid a considerable price in order to establish regional stability and fight against Takfiri terrorism. Therefore, it cannot remain indifferent to the worrying increase of destabilizing measures by the US, the Zionist regime (Israel) and some of their regional allies.”
He once again reiterated that the Iranian military advisors are present in Syria upon a request by the Arab country’s government with the purpose of countering the threat of terrorism and playing a decisive role in defeating terrorist groups in the region.
Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi in April strongly condemned the Israeli regime’s attack on an air base in the Syrian province of Homs, saying it was a blatant violation of international law which would strengthen terrorists.
“The Israeli regime’s aggression against Syria is a breach of this country’s national sovereignty and territorial integrity and runs counter to all international regulations and principles,” Qassemi said.”It only will further complicate the critical situation in Syria and regional equations.”
Iran might withdraw from NPT if nuclear deal scrapped
Shamkhani further said Iran might quit the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) if US President Donald Trump scraps a multilateral nuclear agreement Tehran signed with the P5+1 group of countries in 2015.
“The NPT has foreseen the right for all members to quit if their interests are threatened,” the SNSC secretary added.
He emphasized that there is no reason for a country to remain committed to an international treaty when it becomes invalid by illegal approaches of other countries.
The senior Iranian official said international agreements are mainly aimed at establishing stability and security in the international community and preventing unilateral measures by so-called powerful countries.
He noted that “comprehensive instructions” have been given to the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran which would be implemented at an appropriate time.
Trump is a stern critic of the nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), reached between Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council — the United States, France, Britain, China, Russia – plus Germany in 2015.
Under the agreement, nuclear-related sanctions put in place against Iran were lifted in exchange for curbs on Tehran’s nuclear program.
He has repeatedly described the JCPOA, which was negotiated under his predecessor, Barack Obama, as “the worst and most one-sided transaction Washington has ever entered into” and threatened to tear it up.
In January, the US president decided to stick with the JCPOA, but gave the European signatories a May 12 deadline to “fix the terrible flaws” of the accord or he would withdraw Washington from the deal.
Other P5+1 parties to the agreement have all criticized Trump’s hostile views, saying the deal is sound and has proven to be functioning. Iran also says it will not accept any change to the agreement.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said in a post on his official Twitter account on Monday that the European signatories to the nuclear agreement should convince the US president not to pull out of the deal, because there is no “Plan B” for it.
“It’s either all or nothing. European leaders should encourage President Trump not just to stay in the nuclear deal, but more importantly to begin implementing his part of the bargain in good faith,” Zarif said.
Iran’s nuclear chief said on Saturday the Islamic Republic’s response readiness would “startle” the United States should it decide to pull out of the JCPOA.
“We hope that the other side makes a wise decision and avoids carrying out an action that would cause a nuisance for itself and others,” Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (IAEA) Ali Akbar Salehi told reporters.