The United States categorically denied, on Wednesday, any implication that either itself or its ally Israel was responsible for the fatal explosions in Iran. The statement emphasized a rejection of such suggestions and cautioned against further escalation, particularly in the aftermath of a suspected Israeli attack on a Hamas leader in Lebanon.

The United States rejected on Wednesday any suggestion that it or Israel was behind the deadly blasts in Iran and warned against further escalation after a suspected Israeli attack on a Hamas leader in Lebanon.

At least 103 people died in southern Iran at the grave of Revolutionary Guard General Qasem Soleimani, as mourners gathered exactly four years after he was killed in a US drone strike.

“The United States was not involved in any way, and any suggestion to the contrary is ridiculous,” State Department spokesman Matthew Miller said of Wednesday’s violence.

“We have no reason to believe that Israel was involved in this explosion,” he added.

“We do express our sympathies to the victims and their loved ones who died in this horrific explosion,” he said.

The blast on the anniversary of Soleimani’s assassination comes one day after a suspected Israeli attack killed the number two leader of Hamas, Saleh al-Arouri, in the southern suburbs of Lebanon’s capital Beirut. The suburbs are a stronghold of the Iran-backed Hezbollah movement.

Without explicitly confirming Israeli responsibility or backing the strike, Miller said that Arouri was a “brutal terrorist with civilian blood on his hands,” but warned against further escalation in the region.

“It is in no one’s interest—not in the interest of any country in the region, not in the interest of any country in the world—to see this conflict escalate any further than it already has,” he said.

Miller declined to assess who carried out the attack in Iran.

Khalil Wakim, with AFP