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Iran will respond to Israeli 'aggression': senior lawmaker

Iran's Alaeddin Boroujerdi at a press conference in Damascus [Getty]

Date of publication: 2 May, 2018

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The lawmaker's remarks come a day after a suspected Israeli air strike killed 26 mostly Iranian fighters stationed at a military base in Syria.

A senior Iranian lawmaker said on Tuesday that his country will retailiate against Israeli "aggression" after military personnel were killed in a strike at a base in Syria.

"We are in Syria at the request of the Syrian government," said Alaeddin Boroujerdi, president of Iran's parliamentary foreign affairs committee.

"The aggression of the Zionist entity on our advisers in Syria guarantees us the right of response," added Boroujerdi.

"We will respond at the right time and place," he told a news conference in Damascus as part of a two-day visit.

On Monday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said missile strikes on a base in central Syria killed 26 pro-regime fighters, most of them Iranians, in a raid it said bore the hallmarks of an Israeli operation.

Israeli Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz told army radio that he was "not aware" of the strikes.

The latest such attacks came amid heightened tensions after Damascus and Tehran accused Israel on April 9 of conducting deadly strikes against a separate military base in central Syria.

According to a report by NBC News, Israel now seems to be preparing for military action against Iran in Syria and is seeking US support.

"On the list of the potentials for most likely live hostility around the world, the battle between Israel and Iran in Syria is at the top of the list right now," one senior US official said.

While Russia is running the air war for the Assad regime, Iran is conducting the ground war. There is now an Iranian presence in every major Syrian and Russian base in the country.

Tuesday's remarks follow Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's comments a day earlier that tens of thousands of documents recently recovered by Israeli intelligence operatives in Tehran proved Iran had a secret nuclear weapons programme that it could put into action at any time.

European leaders have pushed back vigourosly against Netanyahu's claims, saying Iran has complied with the P5+1 nuclear accord signed in 2015. 

Social media users have criticised Israel for maintaining a nuclear arsenal believed to number more than 150, and shunning membership at the International Energy Atomic Inspection Agency, of which Iran is a part of. 

Israel's military has struck targets in Syria more than 100 times since 2012, largely targeting weapons convoys intended for Lebanon's Hizballah group.

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