Iranian Foreign Minister Hosein Amir Abdollahian told German Foreign Minister Annalena Berbock that Tehran intends to respond to the Israeli attack on the Iranian consulate in Damascus, but will do so in a limited way, Axios portal reported, citing a source with direct knowledge of the ministers’ conversation.

The German Foreign Ministry said on Thursday that Berbock and Abdollahian discussed the situation in the Middle East by phone and said no one was interested in further regional escalation.

“Amir Abollahian told his German counterpart on Thursday that Iran is determined to respond to Israel’s bombing of its consular building in Damascus last week, but will do so in an ‘appropriate’ and limited way,” the portal said.”

According to the publication’s source, the ministers’ 90-minute conversation focused almost entirely on the current tensions. It was unclear what Iran meant by the limited nature of the response, he said. The source stressed that Berbock conveyed a message to the US, warning his Iranian counterpart not to underestimate the extent of Israel’s response to a possible attack from Iran.

On the evening of 1 April, there was an Israeli Air Force airstrike on the Iranian Consulate General building in Damascus, the Syrian Defence Ministry reported. The consulate building also housed the residence of Iranian Ambassador Hossein Akbari – he was not injured in the attack. According to the Syrian defence ministry, the consulate building was completely destroyed in the missile attack.

According to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (elite units of the Armed Forces), seven IRGC officers were killed in the Israeli strike, among them two high-ranking advisory generals: Mohammad Reza Zahedi, commander of the IRGC’s Quds Force in Syria and Lebanon, and his deputy, Brigadier General Mohammad Hadi Haji Rahimi.

The Iranian Foreign Ministry said it reserved the right to respond to the Israeli airstrike on the consulate general in Damascus, as well as to determine exactly how to “punish the aggressor”. On Wednesday, Elaph reported that Israel was preparing to strike targets inside Iran if Tehran responded to the attack on its consulate in Damascus with attacks on Israeli targets.

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