The Iran Embassy blasts in Beirut, Lebanon last November 19 that killed 25 people and wounded several hundreds more are not caused by missile attacks as claimed by a reliable source.
A source who talked with Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) denied earlier reports that the explosions in Beirut was caused by missile attacks as shown in al-Jadeed, a Lebanese TV news network. The source who spoke on condition of anonymity is from the Iranian Embassy. This also came after several news reports and based on an eyewitness account which claimed two rockets have been fired at the embassy’s compound that caused the explosion.
Two large explosions shook the Iran Embassy in an apparent attack on the Iranian mission in Southern Beirut. Aside from the confirmed dead that include six Iranian nationals, the explosions also wounded 150 people who happened to be near the embassy when the attack occurred.
Lebanese investigators said that based on security camera footages, a man was seen running towards the outer wall of the embassy before blowing himself up. A car bomb was believed to be the source of the second explosion. The car was parked several meters away from the embassy.
Iran ambassador Ghazanfar Roknabadi identified Iranian cultural attaché Ebrahim Ansari as one of those fatalities. Mr. Ansari, who has just taken his post a month ago, was on his way to work when the attack happened. Outside of the embassy, several cars caught fire, trees were uprooted and the facades of buildings near the explosion were torn off.
The Lebanese-based Abdullah Azzam Brigades claimed responsibility for the deadly explosion. The group is also apparently being backed by Al-Qaeda. In a Twitter post, the religious guide of the group, Sheikh Sirajeddine Zuraiqat, wrote that the attack implemented by two of their operators was a success and the two are now considered Lebanese Sunni heroes and martyrs.
The area around the embassy is considered a Hezbollah territory, which suffered several deadly attacks in the past several months. The Hezbollah fighters are a major ally and one of the reasons why the Syrian government was successful in their Qusair operation in June, near the Lebanese border. The Qusair operation was meant to cut the supply routes of the Syrian rebels. Many view the Hezbollah involvement as increasing the sectarian tensions in Syria and Lebanon.
In Lebanon, many Sunni communities wanted Syrian President Bashar al-Assad removed from office but many Shi’ites Muslims who are also Hezbollah supporters wanted Assad to remain in position. Assad traces his origins from the minority Alawite sect which is a part of the Shi’ite Islam. The Sunni Muslims in Lebanon have joined forces with the Sunni rebels of Syria and affiliated themselves with al-Qaeda.
Lebanese Caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati denounced the terrorist attack and said that the attack is also meant to sow confusion in Lebanon. UK Foreign Secretary William Hague said that his country is very much committed in making sure that peace and stability is observed in Lebanon and most importantly the people behind this attack must immediately be brought to justice. Many also believe that whether the Iran Embassy blasts are caused by missiles or bombs those responsible should immediately be brought to justice.
By Roberto I. Belda