Iran ramps up threats against Israel following consulate airstrike

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Iranian officials reiterated threats of retaliation Wednesday against Israel following an airstrike Monday that killed seven Iranian officials and destroyed its consulate in Syria.

In a statement made on Iranian state television Wednesday, President Ebrahim Raisi said the attack “will not remain without answer,” and in both a televised statement and in posts to his social media, Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei warned that Israel “will be punished.”

“With God's help we will make the Zionists repent of their crime of aggression against the Iranian consulate in Damascus,” Khamenei wrote in a separate message in Hebrew posted to his English language account on X, formerly known as Twitter.

Monday’s strike came amid continued fire exchanged by Iran-backed Hezbollah and Israeli Defense Forces along Israel’s northern border with Lebanon and ignited an outcry as it marked a significant escalation in Israel’s regional operations and broke with international norms about attacking embassies.

The IDF said Wednesday that it was bolstering its aerial defense unit and calling up more reservists as tensions increase between Israel and Iran.

In his social media posts Wednesday, Khamenei also sought to drum up “international outcry” against Israel in the lead-up to International Quds, or Jerusalem, Day on Friday. First introduced by then-leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in the immediate aftermath of the 1979 Islamic Revolution, Quds Day is now marked with protests by various supporters of Palestinians worldwide.

Iran also announced Wednesday that the funerals of the two generals and five officials killed by Monday’s IDF strike in Damascus would take place as part of Friday’s Quds Day protests in Tehran, where IRGC Commander Major General Hossein Salami is set to deliver remarks.