02:17 GMT20 April 2021
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    Earlier, Iran's president accused Israel, the US "and their regional agents" of responsibility for last week's deadly suicide attack in southeastern Iran which claimed the lives of over two dozen Revolutionary Guards service members and civilians.

    Iran cannot rule out the possibility of military conflict with Israel, Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said, speaking to Germany's Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper.

    "There is adventurism on Israel's side, and adventurism is always dangerous," Zarif said, referring to Israel's off-again-on-again campaign of airstrikes against Syria.

    According to the foreign minister, the crucial difference between Iranian and Israeli operations in Syria was that Iran was invited into the country by the Syrian government legally, while Israel's actions were a violation of Lebanese and Syrian airspace, and of international law.

    Zarif noted that while he does not think that full-blown military hostilities between Iran and Israel are likely at the moment, "we cannot exclude the possibility."

    Tensions between Iran and Israel, already at historic highs, escalated last week after Iranian President Hassan Rouhani accused "enemies" US and Israel of involvement in a deadly car bombing attack against Iran's Revolutionary Guards in Sistan and Baluchistan province. Over two dozen people, including military personnel and civilians, were killed in the attack, with over a dozen more injured. Jaish ul-Adl, an al-Qaeda* linked terrorist group, claimed responsibility for the attack.

    On Saturday, Revolutionary Guards Corps commander Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari warned Saudi Arabia and the UAE that they may face retaliation for their support for the terrorists, which he said acted "on orders from the US and the Zionist regime." 

    On Sunday, accusing Israel of "looking for war," Foreign Minister Zarif said that the risk was "great" and "will be even greater" if regional powers "continue to turn a blind eye to severe violations of international law."

    Iran and Israel have not maintained diplomatic relations since the Islamic Revolution of 1979. Tensions between the two powers have been smouldering in recent years amid successful Israeli lobbying to get the US to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal, and repeated Israeli airstrikes against Syria, which Tel Aviv claims targeted Iranian forces. Israel has also accused Tehran of propping up hostile actors in Lebanon. Iranian officials have denied the Syria claims, saying its military presence in the Arab Republic was limited to military advisors and arms sent at Damascus's request to fight terrorism.

    The two countries regularly exchange hostile rhetoric, with Iranian military leaders vowing to "remove the Zionist regime from the political map" if attacked, and Israeli leaders calling Iran a "dictatorial theocracy" and threatening to destroy Iran if provoked.

    *A terrorist group outlawed in Russia and many other countries.


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