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Syria backs Iran, terms accusations by Israel, US, UK ‘systematic targeting’

The file photo shows the Mercer Street, a Japanese-owned Liberian-flagged tanker managed by Israeli-owned Zodiac Maritime, which was attacked off the coast of Oman. (By Reuters)

The Syrian government has denounced what it calls “fabricated accusations” by the Israeli regime as well as its allies, the US and the UK, against Iran over recent incidents in the regional waters.

The Syrian Foreign Ministry said the accusations leveled against the Islamic Republic of Iran are part of the “systematized targeting” of the country by the West, Damascus-based Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) reported Sunday.

The agency, quoting an official source, said the Syrian government “reiterates its solidarity and support” for Tehran against “false allegations and hysterical campaign” by the Western powers.

The source further said the accusations “will not affect Iran’s patriotic choices and its constructive role in maintaining stability in the region” as opposed to “policies of the West and the Zionist entity to spread chaos and inflame tensions in the region.”

There has been a dangerous escalation in the region against the backdrop of a suspected drone attack last week that targeted an Israeli-managed tanker off the Omani coast. Two crew members were killed.

The regime in Tel Aviv and its Western allies accuse Iran of orchestrating the attack. Iran rejects the charges.

US, UK, Israel war club

The United States and the United Kingdom have thrown their weight behind the Israeli regime, calling for an “appropriate response.”

British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said the “unlawful and callous” attack had highly likely been carried out by Iran using one or more drones. 

“We believe this attack was deliberate, targeted, and a clear violation of international law by Iran,” he said last week, adding that London was working with partners on a “concrete response.”

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken also joined the chorus, saying they were “working with partners” on what he termed an “appropriate response” to the attack. 

“Upon review of the available information, we are confident that Iran conducted this attack, which killed two innocent people, using one-way explosive UAVs,” he said last week.

Saeed Khatibzadeh, the spokesman for Iran’s Foreign Ministry, termed the accusations “childish,” which he said were influenced by the Zionist lobby in the United States.

“The illegitimate Zionist entity must stop leveling baseless charges against Iran. This is not the first time that this regime brings up such accusations [against Tehran].”

Prompt response to military adventurism

The attack on Mercer Street vessel was followed by another incident in the Persian Gulf off the coast of the United Arab Emirates, when at least four ships broadcasted warnings that they had lost control of their steering under unknown circumstances.

British maritime trade agency termed it a “potential hijack,” while accusing Iranian naval forces of “seizing” an oil tanker.

In a statement, Khatibzadeh said the incidents related to ships in the Persian Gulf and the Oman Sea were "utterly suspicious," warning against what he termed "false propaganda" against Iran.

He also warned of “prompt and strong” response to any “military adventurism” by the Tel Aviv regime and its Western allies.

He expressed Iran’s commitment to regional stability and maritime security and said his country is willing to offer assistance in case of any maritime accidents in the region.

An Iranian news agency, quoting an informed security source, also warned of “strong and crushing response” to any action against the country’s national interests and security.

“Although the Islamic Republic of Iran considers threats posed by the officials of Western countries and the Zionist regime to be mostly of propaganda value, any measure against Iran’s interests and national security will be met with strong and crushing response, with Washington and London being directly responsible for consequences of such moves.”

Meanwhile, the commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) issued a stern warning to enemies, saying the response to any act of aggression will be crushing.

“The enemies who have been speaking, these days, with a language of threats about the Islamic Republic’s establishment, particularly the usurping Zionist regime, must develop an understanding of the realities about the Islamic Republic of Iran’s and the IRGC’s defense and offense power,” General Hossein Salami said on Wednesday.

In recent months, several Israeli-managed ships have come under attack on various maritime routes across the world.

The attacks come against a backdrop of the Israeli regime’s unrelenting assaults on cargo ships across the Persian Gulf region and elsewhere.

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