US Warned Iran Ahead of Deadly ISIS Attack: Report

January 25, 2024

The United States warned Iran ahead of a deadly terror attack from the Islamic State earlier this month, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.

"Prior to ISIS’s terrorist attack on Jan. 3, 2024, in Kerman, Iran, the U.S. government provided Iran with a private warning that there was a terrorist threat within Iranian borders," an American official told the outlet. "The U.S. government followed a longstanding ‘duty to warn’  policy that has been implemented across administrations to warn governments against potential lethal threats. We provide these warnings in part because we do not want to see innocent lives lost in terror attacks."

The Islamic State claimed responsibility days after the attack that killed more than 80 people, mostly civilians, at a memorial for Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani. ISIS-Khorasan, which also carried out the 2021 Kabul airport attack that killed 13 American troops and approximately 170 Afghan civilians, was the ISIS proxy that performed the attack.

Iran did not respond to the American warning, according to the Journal. "Duty to warn" requires agencies to notify targets of terror attacks, both American and non-American.

In the immediate aftermath of the attack, some members of the Iranian regime blamed Israel, and at least one also blamed the United States.

"Washington says USA and Israel had no role in terrorist attack in Kerman, Iran," Mohammad Jamshidi, deputy chief of staff to Iran's president, wrote on X. "Really? A fox smells its own lair first. Make no mistake. The responsibility for this crime lies with the US and Zionist regimes and terrorism is just a tool."

The warning came amid attacks by Iranian-backed Houthis in Yemen on merchant ships in the Red Sea. Between the beginning of Israel's war on Hamas in Gaza and Christmas, groups in Iraq and Syria, mostly Iran proxies, attacked American troops at least 100 times.