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‘We don’t know who did it, but Israel will be taught a lesson,’ Iranian army chief warns after oil tanker attack

A fire erupted aboard an Iranian oil tanker off the Syrian coast on Saturday, after what the Syrian Arab news agency described as a suspected “attack by a drone from the direction of Lebanese waters.” Some reports said three people were killed, but others insisted there were no fatalities and the blaze was swiftly extinguished.

Explosions on Iranian and Israeli vessels in the region have been frequent in recent months, with neither side accepting responsibility for the alleged attacks.

“We don’t say anything about the incidents that happened recently, nor do we know who did it, but the Resistance Front will teach Israel a very good lesson,” Bagheri said on Sunday, as cited by Tehran-based journalists.

He argued Israel was wrong to believe that it “can keep hitting Syria and making mischievous moves elsewhere and in the seas and not receive any response.”

Bagheri vowed that Tehran’s response would “bring them to their senses,” without specifying what in particular Israel should expect.

Tensions have been on the rise between Israel and Iran, amid the ongoing negotiations surrounding the US’ return to the Iranian nuclear deal, which Washington quit unilaterally in 2018 under then-president Donald Trump. The Jewish state vigorously opposes the agreement, insisting it will pave the way for Tehran to create a nuclear weapon.

Iran accused Israel of being behind a sabotage attempt at the key Natanz nuclear site in mid-April, with the explosion reportedly rendering the facility’s power grid and backup system inoperable, while also destroying some of the centrifuges used to enrich uranium. Tehran claimed that the operation was aimed at disrupting the nuclear deal talks.

Earlier this week, Israel Defense Forces targeted Iran’s ally Syria with airstrikes, killing an officer and wounding three troops. The attack came in response to a Syrian anti-aircraft missile fired at an Israeli Air Force jet. The projectile landed in the Negev Desert inside Israel.

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