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Iran Vows Revenge Against Israel, US for Beirut Assassination, Twin Bombings at Gravesite

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JERUSALEM, Israel – Threats of revenge are echoing from Iran after twin blasts at a memorial ceremony there on Wednesday. It occurred a day after the assassination of a senior Hamas terrorist leader in Lebanon.

Iran blamed Israel and the U.S. for the two explosions that killed more than 100 people at a service commemorating Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps-Quds Force Commander Qassam Soleimani, who was killed four years ago in a U.S. drone strike. The IRGC-Quds Force is a U.S.-designated Foreign Terrorist Organization, and Soleimani was its mastermind.

In front of a crowd shouting "death to America" and "death to Israel," Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi called the bombings a "barbaric act" against innocent people. He continued, "I warn the Zionist regime: without doubt, for this crime and the other crimes you commit, you will pay a price that will make you regret badly."

U.S. State Department Spokesman Matthew Miller claimed it's too early to know who was behind the twin explosions in the city of Kerman, southeast of Tehran.

"The United States was not involved in any way," Miller stated. "Any suggestion to the contrary is ridiculous. And number two, we have no reason to believe that Israel was involved in this explosion." 

The explosions at the ceremony closely followed the killing of Hamas Deputy Commander Saleh Arouri in an explosion in a Hezbollah-controlled suburban neighborhood south of Beirut.

"With respect to the development (Tuesday), I will say that al-Arouri was a brutal terrorist who was centrally responsible for the attacks of October 7th, as well as other attacks against innocent civilians leading back to well before October 7th," Miller said.

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Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah called the killing of Arouri "a very dangerous development," and promised punishment for it. 

Hezbollah continues to launch attacks against Israel's northern border, and Israel is responding, striking Hezbollah terror targets inside Lebanon.

The White House maintains it's trying to keep the war between Israel and Hamas from spreading.

National Security Council Spokesman John Kirby noted, "The posture changes that the president has ordered in the region has been designed to prevent an escalation or widening or deepening of this conflict. As we've said before, we don't want to see it widened beyond Israel and Hamas. And again, we're going to keep working with partners in the region to prevent that from happening."

On a visit to the Lebanon border, IDF Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi said Israel is prepared.

"Based on my impressions, we are in a very high state of readiness in the North," Halevi stated. "I visit here often. I think our readiness is at its peak. There is a lot of expertise, great capabilities, and high morale. We are in very high readiness in all sectors, and we are currently focusing on fighting Hamas."

Inside Gaza to the south, the fighting continues.

Iranian opposition activist Vahid Beheshti, who addressed the Knesset this week, says he's devoted his life to standing against terrorism. He's urging Israel and the West to fight the terror groups but not to ignore the head of the snake, Iran.

"Their first principle of (the) Iranian regime is this. an elimination of the state of Israel since 44 years ago – and they've been really active about it," Beheshti said. "Look how many proxies that have been created around Israel. Of course, we have to eradicate Hamas completely, Hezbollah completely, other terrorist group(s) completely, but mainly we have to go to the root of the problems."

Beheshti believes the Hamas massacre of Israelis on October 7th proved to the world the brutality and barbarism of the Tehran regime.

"We have this big cancer in the Middle East," he told CBN News. "We need the proper surgery. Of course, it's going to be painful. It's going to be bloody. Sorry. But to (get to that point) we need to go to the root of the problem, and that's (the) Iranian regime."

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About The Author

Julie Stahl

Julie Stahl is a correspondent for CBN News in the Middle East. A Hebrew speaker, she has been covering news in Israel fulltime for more than 20 years. Julie’s life as a journalist has been intertwined with CBN – first as a graduate student in Journalism; then as a journalist with Middle East Television (METV) when it was owned by CBN from 1989-91; and now with the Middle East Bureau of CBN News in Jerusalem since 2009. As a correspondent for CBN News, Julie has covered Israel’s wars with Gaza, rocket attacks on Israeli communities, stories on the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria and