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Iran's Revolutionary Guards warn Israel over more attacks

Escalating the conflict in Iraq's Kurdish region, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps has said that they will immediately respond to attacks by Israel. 
Iran attack

Hossein Salami, the commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, issued a warning to Israel against more attacks targeting Iranian forces in the region. 

Speaking in the city of Dezful at an event commemorating previous IRGC fighters, Salami said, “You saw in recent weeks how the Zionists, who constantly make mistakes in their calculations, were under the attacks of the IRGC missiles.” On March 13, Iran launched ballistic missiles into northern Iraq, claiming the target was a strategic center for Israel. The attack was in retaliation for two Iranian soldiers killed by an Israeli strike in Syria. In total, 12 missiles were launched, and Iraqi officials condemned the attack.

Salami continued, “We warn them to stop their wickedness, otherwise we will close these small holes that are open to you in the world.” In response to Iraqi criticism of the attack, Iran said that it has repeatedly warned the Iraqi government not to permit Israel to operate within the country, particularly in Iraq’s Kurdish region.  

Addressing Israel, Salami added, “Be careful. We not only conduct funerals and processions for our martyrs but we will immediately exact revenge.” He continued, “This is a real and serious message, and if it is continued, again you will experience IRGC missiles.” 

The missile attacks, which hit a compound in Erbil, caused considerable damage but no casualties. More than anything, they signaled that Iran has taken its retaliation against Israel to the next level. For years, Israel has attacked Iranian and Iranian-backed forces in Syria. The acknowledgement of two Iranians killed in a recent attack and Iran’s immediate response suggests that tensions will continue to rise, and that each attack and retaliatory attack will be publicized.

The direct confrontation could also be heating up due to the possible revival of the nuclear deal, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. In a phone conversion with his Iraqi counterpart, Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said, “We are close to the final stages of the agreement.” He added, “On the few important remaining issues we presented initiatives from European intermediaries to the US.” Since the US exited the Iran deal in 2018, they are technically not part of the Vienna negotiations, but Iran needs US sanctions removed if they are to return their nuclear program to agreed-upon levels. Abdollahian said, “Now it is the Americans who must show their good intentions through actions. We are determined to achieve a good, stable and durable agreement.”  

Iranian Vice President Mohammad Mokhber also addressed the final stages of the negotiations, warning that hostilities between Iran and the US would not end. Negotiations are important for removing sanctions, he said, but although some feel that talks can resolve the two countries’ enmity, some “problems cannot be resolved through negotiations.” 

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