‘A Declaration of War’ Against Iran

Seven people including Iranian diplomats and an Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps senior commander were killed in Israel’s airstrike Monday on Tehran’s consulate in Damascus.

Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian in January at a U.N. meeting on Palestine in New York. (UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe)

By Brett Wilkins
Common Dreams

Iranian and Syrian officials on Monday accused Israel of bombing Iran’s consulate in Damascus, an attack one expert called a “war-abetting escalation” that U.S. President Joe Biden “claimed he was preventing” in the Middle East.

Seven people including Iranian diplomats and Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) senior commander Gen. Mohammad Reza Zahedi were killed in the airstrike, which according to the BBC occurred at approximately 5 p.m. local time and flattened the multistory building adjacent to the Iranian embassy in the Syrian capital’s Mezzeh district.

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian described the strike as “a violation of all international obligations and conventions.” Faisal Mekdad, his Syrian counterpart, condemned what he called a “heinous terrorist attack.”

Israeli officials declined to comment on the attack. Israel has increased airstrikes targeting IRGC and Hezbollah militants inside Syria since the Hamas-led Oct. 7 attacks. 

Israeli strikes against Hezbollah have also killed hundreds of militants and civilians in Lebanon.

Hamidreza Azizi, a visiting fellow at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs, called the consulate attack a “significant escalation in tensions.”

Syria’s Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad in 2017. (Tasnim News Agency, Wikimedia Commons, CC BY 4.0)

“This attack is viewed by some in Iran as a declaration of war by Israel against Iran,” Azizi wrote on social media. “It represents a shift from previous engagements, directly hitting Iranian soil represented by its consulate in Syria — as opposed to targeting IRGC officers in Syrian sites.” 

“In earlier stages, Israel would refrain from targeting IRGC officers — only proxies and arms shipments,” he continued. “Since the Gaza war, a shift was already there to target high-ranking Iranian commanders. Some sources claim the attack was a response to an assault on an Israeli ship last night at the port of Eilat, attributed to Iraqi militias. This suggests another new rule of engagement by Israel: direct retaliation against Iran for any attacks by its proxies.” 

Azizi added that the strike “is also seen as a message to both Iran and [President Bashar] al-Assad’s regime in Syria: Israel’s capability and willingness to escalate its response to the presence of Iranian forces in Syria.” 

Numerous experts including Azizi wondered whether Israel informed the United States ahead of the attack. 

A White House spokesperson said that Biden is aware of reports attributing the strike to Israel and that his “team is looking into it.” 

Trita Parsi of the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft said on social media that “this is the exact type of conduct that usually prompts the U.S. to label a country a pariah or rogue state.”

“The U.S. accuses such states of seeking to destroy the ‘rules-based order,'” Parsi noted. “But so far, Biden has acquiesced to Israel’s conduct in this area as well as all other aspects of Israel’s slaughter in Gaza.” 

Parsi accused Israel of “seeking to either destroy these norms or create a new normal in which it — much like the U.S. — will be untouchable above these laws and norms.” 

He also called the Damascus strike “the kind of war-abetting escalation Biden claimed he was preventing.” 

The U.S. has also bombed Syria — as well as Yemen, Iraq, and Somalia — since Oct. 7.

Palestinian Policy Network fellow Tariq Kenney-Shawa said: “What the Biden administration means by ‘taking every measure to avoid regional escalation’ is that they’re making sure only Israel is allowed to escalate. Deploying aircraft carriers, airstrikes in Yemen/Syria/Iraq, all of that is to make sure Israel can provoke but no one can respond.”

While Parsi wondered if Israel attacked Iran’s consulate — its sovereign territory — to elicit a response to justify a larger war,  Antiwar.com editor Dave DeCamp went further, accusing Israel of “trying to provoke a war with Iran to get the U.S. directly involved.”

Iranian journalist Mona Hojat Ansari wrote for The Tehran Times that the far-right government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “believes that by plunging the region into a maelstrom of chaos and entangling the United States in another pointless war in West Asia that would drain American resources, it may find a chance to survive as an apartheid establishment.”

“The attack on Iran’s consulate should particularly raise a red flag for Washington,” she added, “as it demonstrates Israel’s readiness to ignite the entire region, even if it means that the U.S. and all its traditional allies in the region would suffer devastating consequences.”

Brett Wilkins is a staff writer for Common Dreams.

This article is from Common Dreams.

Views expressed in this article and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.

11 comments for “‘A Declaration of War’ Against Iran

  1. robert e williamson jr
    April 4, 2024 at 23:02

    There exists very little I can add to the comments above.

    Israel’s right wing government is guilty of everything the commenters have stated. The same is true about the U.S. government and far too many of it’s citizenry.

    The only thing I have left to comment on is this piece by Brett Wilkins , which just might be the most impactive short report addressing Israels transgressions against Iran which reveal Iran’s attitude toward Israel is well founded.

    Israel seems to be obsessed with Iran to the point they have lost their own perspective on their own contrived reality.

    My hat is off to Mr.Wilkins for his ability, economically written and to the point, to very clearly deliver the most on task description of the most current situation Israel has created in an effort to exasperate all involved except the Israeli populace. A populace who this government seems hell bent on driving into a hysterical frenzy.

    Bibi and the orange turd are two spoiled psychotic peas in a pod.

    My apologies to the greatly nutritious legume family of garden plants.

    Thanks CN

  2. Paul Citro
    April 3, 2024 at 09:41

    If there ever was a good reason for a jihad, you have one now.

    • JonnyJames
      April 3, 2024 at 13:15

      Yeah, but “jihad” has been co-opted by CIA/MI6/Mossad to serve their interests. Note that IS/Daesh only serve US/UK Israeli interests and never attack Israel.

  3. susan
    April 3, 2024 at 07:37

    So, Hamas supposedly killed 1200-1400 people on October 7th and that gives license to Israel (with the help of the US government) to kill tens of thousands of Palestinians and cause a potential war in the Middle East?

  4. Em
    April 2, 2024 at 20:56

    According to Trita Parsi of the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft; an American think-tank, based in the mother of all Rogue States: “this is the exact type of conduct that usually prompts the U.S. to label a country a pariah or rogue state.”
    Surely, in this most recent ‘incident’ the U.S. cannot resort to claim Israel is a rogue state, for this would be an ‘in the face’ example of the pot calling the kettle black!
    Not good publicity for the hegemonic regimes leadership, especially not at this particularly dramatic, and highly questionable transitional moment in its international political diplomatic history!
    But as brazen as Israel is in its conduct, so too is its mentor, even more so! Anything goes, so far as its ‘national’ interests are concerned!
    The theory seems to be: who would dare to retaliate against us and be seen as the cause of total nuclear annihilation?
    This is Israel’s trump card – holding it, until the final play, and their enemies on this earth know it!
    As long as they’ll be the winners when the game concludes!
    Why not play the high stakes game of self-genocide all-in?
    Israel has the upper hand in hostages, when the survival of global humanity is the bid.
    This is their Sampson play in the making!
    Difficult beyond words to convey disgust!

  5. Lois Gagnon
    April 2, 2024 at 15:56

    The ruling class and its obedient political class servants have forced us into a lose lose situation. They are creating a no exit from doomsday scenario. The West is ripe for revolution, but the population is so cowed and obedient, there aren’t enough people to carry it off.

  6. JonnyJames
    April 2, 2024 at 12:28

    The Rule of Law is dead, long live the “Rules Based Order” (translation from NewSpeak: do as you are told, or get bombed into the Stone Age)

    The US (during the DT regime) openly assassinated Gen. Qasem Soleimani in a reckless provocation for war. Israel and the US have also engaged in electronic warfare, espionage, internal meddling, siege warfare (“sanctions”) etc. Iran has indicated it does not want an escalation of the conflicts in the region, and has been careful not to retaliate proportionately.

    Israel and the US’s reckless attacks on Iran and Iranian allies are dangerous, to say the least. At what point will Iran be forced to retaliate in kind? Will Russia and China just sit back and do nothing if the situation escalates?

    Openly provoking Russia, China, Iran, Hezbollah all at the same time should be viewed as supreme folly and recklessness.

    The US/Israel policy appears to be Total Hegemony or Total Destruction. (“Samson Option”) As Chris Hedges said some years ago, the US is headed by a suicide-death cult. The Bulletin of Atomic scientists agree: the Doomsday Clock is at 90 seconds to midnight. It is more comfortable to dismiss this as hyperbole, but the hard facts cannot be denied by any honest observer.

  7. Drew Hunkins
    April 2, 2024 at 12:18

    Israel’s a rogue state that’s gone berserk. It’s built on Jewish supremacy, (if we can throw around the term “Christian fascism” we can certainly use the term Jewish supremacism), racism, arrogance, and theft.

    Just about every single American politician is on the campaign payroll of the Zionists, the mainstream US media are almost all dominated by Jewish supremacist sociopaths. If the American people don’t sever this bond soon with the genocidal state we’ll experience another 9/11 type attack.

  8. Steve
    April 2, 2024 at 12:15

    Israel continues to provoke Iran, hoping they will retaliate so that Genecide Joe can then wade in to ‘protect’ his crazies.
    Would be good to see Russia step up and blast these goons out of the air, we can always hope !

  9. Rudy Haugeneder
    April 2, 2024 at 11:05

    Israel clearly wants the Middle East to explode into war. It seems to be working.

    • April 3, 2024 at 12:33

      As Biden slips in the polls he could be considering bolstering his numbers by becoming a “war president’ in the mold of Bush Jr. I don’t think it will work. Democrats hate that Biden seems to not understand what is moral versus what constitutes a crime against humanity – understanding that seems a necessary basic for a world leader.

Comments are closed.