Report: Israel sent messages to Iran via Russia

Ben Sales

TEL AVIV (JTA) — In hopes of easing escalating tensions with Iran, Israel reportedly sent a message to the Iranian government via Russia.

The message, reported by Israeli Channel 10 Saturday, according to the Times of Israel, came following a Jan. 18 strike on Hezbollah operatives in Syria that killed an Iranian general. Senior commanders of Hezbollah, the Lebanese terror group, were also among the 12 people killed in the strike.

Israel is widely believed to have executed the strike, though Israeli officials have not commented on it.

According to the report, Israeli officials told their Russian counterparts that the strike was made in self-defense, and that Israel did not want regional instability to follow in its wake. The Russian officials then sent the message to their contacts in the Iranian government.

Citing Israel Radio, the Times of Israel also reported that Hezbollah officials have ruled out a strike on Israeli territory in response to the Jan. 18 attack, in order to prevent a war from erupting on the Israeli-Lebanese border.