Missile fire is seen over Daraa, Syria, May 10, 2018.
(photo credit: ALAA AL-FAKIR / REUTERS)
In the first official Iranian reaction to Thursday morning's Israeli strikes on Iranian positions in Syria, Mohammad-Javad Jamali Nobandegani, a member of the Iranian Parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, dismissed the reports as "fake scenarios."
Iran targets Israel from Syria, Israel responds, May 10, 2018 (Reuters)
The IDF announced Thursday morning that 20 rockets were first fired towards Israeli territory from Syria, and that Israel attacked 50 Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps targets in response.
"This claim is entirely false," said Jamali Nobandegani of the IDF's statement. "Everyone knows that the Zionist Regime has always attacked first," he said, referring to Israel. "Even before the conflict over ISIS in the region, Israel bombed Syria and attacked the Iraqi atomic weapons program," in a statement to Iran's Islamic Consultative Assembly News Agency.
Jamali Nobandegani also denied that Iran has military bases in Syria.
"Iran has advisors in Syria, and certainly if the Syrian military wishes, Iran puts its information and experience at their disposal," he said. "Russia does the same."
"Russia has military bases in Syria, but the Iranian presence is advisory only," he said.
Considering the extent of the Israeli attacks, as described by the IDF, the Iran government's response has been limited. As of early Thursday afternoon, no other Iranian officials have directly addressed Thursday's confrontation.
Jamali Nobandegani added that Israel's "fake" claims come from a desire to obscure the "serious consequences" that the Israeli military suffered after an earlier Israeli airstrike in Syria in February this year. In that incident, an Iranian drone crossed into and was shot down in Israeli airspace. In the subsequent Israeli airstrike, an Israeli F-16 was hit by antiaircraft fire and its crew forced to eject
. The two crew members parachuted inside Israel and were taken for medical treatment
Israel also "wants to create Iranophobia in the countries of the Persian Gulf and among American allies," he said.
Jamali Nobandegani linked the strikes to President Trump's announcement Tuesday that the United States would withdraw from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.
"The documents and reasoning that Trump used in announcing his withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal are the very same documents that the Zionist Regime Prime Minister described a little earlier. Thus, we have to expect that other scenarios concocted by America and the Zionist Regime are also fake."