Rostamali Rafiei Atani, the Commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) in Qazvin

Iranian Commander Claims US Backed Retaliation Against Israel

Sunday, 06/02/2024

The IRGC's commander in Qazvin has made a bizarre claim that the United States had sent Iran a written message supporting its right to retaliate against Israel in spite of the two nations having no direct channels of communication.

Rostamali Rafiei Atani stated that Washington urged Tehran to "lower the level of revenge." The claims come in the wake of the US coming to Israel's aid after an unprecedented attack from Iran. 

On April 13, Iran launched hundreds of explosive drones and missiles in retaliation for what Iran claims was an Israeli strike on its consulate in Damascus that killed seven IRGC officers. The US led a coalition of nations, including the UK, to support Israel in intercepting the majority of the 350 or more projectiles. 

However, in the Sunday statement, Rafiei went on to say that "the Israelis and the British have sent messages saying they are ready to negotiate," while the British security services say Iran is one of the country's biggest foreign threats on its soil and Israel vows to do all it can to prevent Iran getting a nuclear weapon.

The Biden administration, however, rejected Rafiei's remarks on Sunday afternoon, telling the Washington Free Beacon that the remarks are "false" and such an exchange of message "did not happen."

This is not the first instance of an Iranian official making claims that cannot be independently verified. On Thursday, the IRGC-affiliated Tasnim news agency reported that Amirali Hajizadeh, a senior commander of the Revolutionary Guard, stated Israel had offered compromises in Gaza through communications mediated by Egypt's foreign minister to forestall further Iranian retaliation. 

Despite the claims, the situation on the ground suggests otherwise. Israel has intensified its military operations into Rafah, the last Hamas stronghold in southern Gaza. The escalation persists even amid warnings from the International Criminal Court, as Israel continues its campaign to dismantle Hamas and secure the release of 125 hostages reportedly held in Gaza.

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