Pakistan's Premier Multilingual News Agency

Iran’s retaliatory strike on Israel: Global response

Tehran, 15 April, 2014 (GNP): Iran launched a barrage of missiles and drones on Saturday night and early Sunday, targeting Israel in retaliation for the Israeli strike on its consulate in Damascus on April 1, which resulted in the deaths of 13 people.

Iran has warned Israel to refrain from military retaliation following a recent attack, portraying it as a justified response to a deadly strike on its consulate in Damascus. Iran’s mission to the United Nations indicated that the issue could be considered resolved, shortly after the operation began on Saturday.

President Raisi pledges a more robust reaction to any provocative actions by Israel, while President Biden assures Netanyahu that the US would not participate in retaliatory measures against Iran. Tehran claims to have informed neighboring countries before the attack.

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi issued a warning to Israel and its allies, cautioning against any reckless actions following Tehran’s drone and missile attack, which marked Iran’s first direct military assault on Israeli territory. Raisi stated, “If the Zionist regime (Israel) or its supporters exhibit reckless behavior, they will face a decisive and much stronger response.” Additionally, Tehran’s foreign ministry summoned the French, British, and German ambassadors after several countries condemned the attack, citing the irresponsible remarks of certain officials from these nations regarding Iran’s response.

On Saturday night, Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps declared that they had deployed “dozens of drones and missiles” targeting military installations within Israeli territory. Iran’s mission to the UN asserted that this military action was retaliation for the earlier aggression by the Zionist regime against Iranian diplomatic facilities in Damascus, labeling it as “legitimate defense.” Israel’s army claimed to have intercepted 99 percent of the drones and missiles with assistance from the United States and other allies, describing Iran’s attack as “thwarted.”

Iran’s army chief of staff, Mohammad Bagheri, declared that the attack had achieved all its objectives, with no intention to prolong the operation. He stated that Iran’s retaliation targeted an intelligence center and the air base allegedly used by Israeli F-35 jets to attack the Damascus consulate on April 1. Bagheri claimed that both targets were significantly damaged, although Israel insists that the attack caused only minor harm.

Experts speculate that Saturday’s  drone attack was designed to showcase Iran’s military capability while allowing room for maneuver.

Nishank Motwani, a senior analyst at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute in Washington, suggested, “It appears that Iran signaled its attack on Israel to demonstrate its ability to strike using various capabilities, complicating efforts to neutralize the assault and providing a potential opportunity to de-escalate.”

Motwani stated, “Tehran has the capacity to escalate across various fronts if it chooses to.” Over the past two weeks, Iranian authorities have consistently promised to retaliate against Israel following the deaths of seven Guards, including two Quds Force generals, in the attack that destroyed the Iranian consulate in Damascus.

During the night, Tehran cautioned the United States, advising it to avoid involvement in its conflict with Israel. Iran’s foreign ministry asserted that if necessary, Tehran would not hesitate to take defensive actions to safeguard its interests against any aggressive military actions.

Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian later mentioned that Tehran had informed neighboring countries ahead of the military operation, emphasizing its aim to punish the Israeli regime.

He stated, “We are not targeting the American people or American bases in the region,” but cautioned that Iran could target US military positions involved in “defending and supporting” Israel. A mural unveiled overnight in Tehran’s Palestine Square featured a warning: “The next slap will be fiercer,” as thousands gathered, chanting “Death to Israel” and “Death to America.”

Meanwhile, President Joe Biden cautioned Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that the US would not participate in a retaliatory action against Iran if Israel decides to respond to the mass drone and missile attack on Israeli territory overnight, as per a White House official.

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Iranian Foreign Minister Amir Abdollahian stated that Tehran had informed the United States that its attack on Israel would be limited and for self-defense purposes, and that neighboring countries had also been notified of the planned strikes 72 hours in advance. Additionally, a Turkish diplomatic source confirmed that Iran had informed Turkey in advance of the impending attack.

Iran justified the attack as a response to “Israeli crimes,” but has now deemed the matter concluded.

Several countries, including Russia, China, France, Germany, as well as Arab states such as Egypt, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates, have urged restraint. The UN Security Council scheduled a meeting for Sunday to discuss the situation.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, during a visit to China, expressed a commitment to preventing further escalation and warned against Iran continuing its actions. Turkey also cautioned Iran against further tensions in the region.

Analysts debated the intent behind Iran’s attack, questioning whether it aimed to cause genuine devastation in Israel or to save face domestically while avoiding a major conflict.

Sima Shine, a former senior Mossad official, suggested that Iran may have considered Israel’s strong anti-missile defenses and anticipated minimal casualties. However, she cautioned that Israel might not interpret the attack as a mere retaliation, especially considering past incidents.

Additionally, on Saturday, Iran’s Revolutionary Guards seized an Israel-linked cargo ship in the Strait of Hormuz, highlighting the potential risks to the world economy posed by a broader conflict.