Iran denies reported plan to retaliate if U.S. strikes Syria
September 9, 2013 -- Updated 1136 GMT (1936 HKT)
- "Iran will take no action against its ally and brother -- Iraq," says Iran's foreign minister
- He calls for a "peaceful and diplomatic" resolution to the Syrian crisis
- U.S. official: Intelligence pointed to planning for possible retaliation if strike is ordered
Washington (CNN) -- Iran's foreign minister denied reports Sunday that his country could be planning a retaliatory strike against the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad if the United States launches a military strike against Syria.
"Iran will take no action against its ally and brother -- Iraq -- and I believe all these allegations are there to justify any military strikes, which are a danger for those planning them," said Mohammad-Javad Zarif, according to the Iranian state-run news agency INSA.
"Iran has no plans to act against its friend and brother, Iraq," the minister added.
Townsend: Iran retaliation no surprise
Report: Iran plots revenge strike
What U.S. action in Syria means for Iran
Last week, a senior U.S. official told CNN the United States has obtained intelligence indicating that Iran "may be planning" such a retaliatory strike.
He said that Iran has "a lot of Shi'a friends" in Iraq that would be willing to carry out an attack.
The official was responding to a Wall Street Journal report that the United States intercepted an order from Iran to militants in Iraq to attack the embassy "and other American interests in Baghdad," if the United States strikes Syria militarily for alleged chemical weapons use.
The State Department had no comment on the report but added it had not taken any action in terms of security at U.S. diplomatic posts in Iraq.
Zarif, who spoke during a one-day visit to Iraq, called for a "peaceful and diplomatic" resolution to the crisis in Syria.
"We should not beat on the drums of war in the region, since beating will only start a fire that would spread to all countries in the region. Those who insist on beginning a war are about to start a fire that will take over the entire region," the minister said, INSA reported.
CNN's Barbara Starr contributed to this report.
Part of complete coverage on
June 26, 2014 -- Updated 1243 GMT (2043 HKT)
Jihadists have kidnapped over 140 Kurdish boys to "brainwash" them. But a few boys made a daring escape.
June 26, 2014 -- Updated 1248 GMT (2048 HKT)
Reports that Syrian warplanes carried out a cross-border attack on Iraqi towns is further evidence of the blurring of the two countries' borders.
June 24, 2014 -- Updated 2133 GMT (0533 HKT)
CNN's Atika Shubert speaks to a father whose teenage son joined the Jihad movement in Syria.
June 23, 2014 -- Updated 1141 GMT (1941 HKT)
At the start of Syria's civil unrest, Omar would rally against the government alongside his schoolmates, later taking to the streets in his hometown of Salqin.
June 23, 2014 -- Updated 2117 GMT (0517 HKT)
Atika Shubert looks at the rise of European jihadists traveling to Syria and whether they soon could join ISIS in Iraq.
June 23, 2014 -- Updated 1453 GMT (2253 HKT)
The final stockpile of Syria's chemical weapons has been shipped out of the country, according to the OPCW, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.
June 25, 2014 -- Updated 2025 GMT (0425 HKT)
The US isn't doing airstrikes in Iraq. Is there a vacuum for Syria and Iran to step in? CNN's Fareed Zakaria weighs in.
June 10, 2014 -- Updated 0804 GMT (1604 HKT)
CNN's Nick Paton Walsh reports on Syrian rebels using underground explosions against the better-equipped regime.
June 9, 2014 -- Updated 1151 GMT (1951 HKT)
CNN's Nick Paton Walsh returns to the besieged rebel areas of Aleppo, a pale skeleton of a city that has had the life bombed out of it.
June 2, 2014 -- Updated 1151 GMT (1951 HKT)
Syria may be embroiled in a brutal three-year civil war, but that's not stopping the government from holding presidential elections.
June 3, 2014 -- Updated 1123 GMT (1923 HKT)
CNN's Nick Paton Walsh meets an ISIS defector in hiding and gets a rare look into the group's recruitment process.
June 5, 2014 -- Updated 1610 GMT (0010 HKT)
Over a thousand Syrian refugees have turned an abandoned shopping mall in Lebanon into makeshift living quarters.
May 28, 2014 -- Updated 2119 GMT (0519 HKT)
What caught our experts' ears was as much about what he didn't address as much as what he did.
May 20, 2014 -- Updated 1019 GMT (1819 HKT)
The three-year war in Syria has claimed 162,402 lives, an opposition group said Monday, as the raging conflict shows no signs of abating.
May 31, 2014 -- Updated 0141 GMT (0941 HKT)
Official: The U.S. believes a jihadi featured in a suicide bombing video in Syria is Moner Mohammad Abu-Salha who grew up in Florida.
May 20, 2014 -- Updated 1437 GMT (2237 HKT)
For the first time, Britain has convicted someone of a terrorism offense related to the Syrian civil war.
Today's five most popular stories