Biden administration officials said Wednesday there is no reason to believe Israel was responsible for an explosion in Iran that killed roughly 100 people, thought it is unclear who was behind the attack.
“We don’t have any more detail in terms of how it happened or who might be responsible for it,” John Kirby, a White House spokesperson for national security, told reporters.
“We have no indication at this time at all that Israel was involved in any way whatsoever,” he added.
State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller, at a separate briefing with reporters, said officials are following reports on the explosion closely and expressed sympathies to the victims and their loved ones.
“It’s too early at least for us to be able to say what might have caused it, but I do want to address some of the irresponsible claims that I have seen circulate and say that, No. 1, the United States was not involved in any way, and any suggestion to the contrary is ridiculous,” Miller said.
“And No. 2, we have no reason to believe that Israel was involved in this explosion,” he added.
Roughly 100 people were killed in the explosion in Kerman during an event to commemorate the death of former Iranian Gen. Qasem Soleimani, the head of the Revolutionary Guard’s elite Quds Force, who was killed in a U.S. drone strike in Iraq in 2020.
The blast came one day after an explosion killed several Hamas officials in Lebanon, leading to increased concerns about the potential for widening conflict in the Middle East amid Israel’s war with Hamas in the wake of the group’s Oct. 7 attack.
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