Monday, March 4, 2024

US says had no role in Iran terror attack

The US State Department has insisted that Washington played no role in the twin bombings that killed nearly 100 people in Iran on Wednesday or in the drone strike that took out a Hamas leader in Lebanon on Tuesday.

Asked about the two Iran blasts, State Department spokesman Matthew Miller told reporters, “No. 1, the United States was not involved in any way, and any suggestion to the contrary is ridiculous. And No. 2, we have no reason to believe that Israel was involved in this explosion.”

Speaking at a press briefing in Washington, Miller also denied any US involvement or prior knowledge of the attack that killed Hamas deputy leader Saleh al-Arouri and six other people in a Beirut suburb.

Although he expressed sympathies to the victims of the Iran bombings, he claimed Al-Arouri was a “brutal terrorist” who was “was centrally responsible” for the October 7 attacks that triggered the Israel-Hamas war.

White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby made a similar statement on Wednesday, telling reporters, “I would just tell you that al-Arouri was a noted designated global terrorist, and if he is in fact dead, nobody should be shedding a tear over his loss.”

He added that US officials have no indication that Israel was involved in the drone strike.

Hezbollah and Hamas leaders, as well as Lebanese security officials, blamed Israel for the attack. Hezbollah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah stated on Wednesday that the drone strike was a “major, dangerous crime about which we cannot be silent”. Israeli military officials declined to comment on the incident, in keeping with their policy of silence regarding extraterritorial assassinations.

Miller and Kirby both stated US President Joe Biden’s administration has been working since the Israel-Hamas war began to prevent the conflict from spreading to other fronts.

The State Department spokesman noted that while Washington remains “incredibly concerned” about the potential for such an escalation, those worries aren’t any greater in the wake of the attacks in Lebanon and Iran.

Wednesday’s explosions ripped through a memorial event in Kerman, Iran, marking the four-year anniversary of Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani’s death.

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi has vowed to bring the perpetrators behind Wednesday’s attack to justice, stressing, “The enemies of the nation should know that such actions can never disrupt the solid determination of the Iranian nation.”

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