Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu on Iran attack: “Smart reaction” needed

Iran should have to wait nervously to see when the counter reaction will occur, just as Israel did before the attack late Saturday evening. The broadcaster reported that Israel had promised to inform the USA before a counterattack.

This was intended to give U.S. troops in the region time to prepare for Iranian retaliation, according to a senior official. Israel’s Chief of General Staff Herzi Halevi had previously announced “a response” to the Iranian attack. Visiting the Nevatim air base, which was involved in repelling the attack late Saturday evening, Halevi said on Monday: “As we look forward, we are considering our steps.” The Israeli war cabinet met again on Monday. There was initially no official statement on the meeting.

The television channel Channel 12 reported without citing sources that various scenarios had been discussed as to how to respond to the major Iranian attack. Israel’s goal is therefore to harm Iran, but not to trigger a full-scale war. Halevi noted that an attack with so many rockets on Israel’s territory would be followed by a response. There have been increasing international calls for Israel to respond with restraint to Iran’s unprecedented attack.

According to Washington, Iran did not inform the US government about the timing, sequence and scope of its attack on Israel. The communications director of the US government’s National Security Council, John Kirby, firmly rejected such reports on Monday. Given the scale of this attack, it was “clearly Iran’s intent” to cause significant destruction and casualties,” Kirby said. “The United States has not received any communications from Iran or anyone else that indicate a specific timing, targets or types of weapons they would fire,” he explained.

Reports that Iran’s “spectacular and embarrassing failure” was intentional and that Iran issued an early warning to help Israel prepare its defenses and limit the potential damage are all “categorically false.” “This is nonsense. This attack failed because it was defeated by Israel, the United States and a coalition of other partners committed to Israel’s defense.”

When asked why US President Joe Biden shortened his weekend stay in the US state of Delaware and returned to the White House earlier than planned for an emergency meeting, Kirby said: “We had a good idea of ​​what Iran was planning.” This knowledge was obtained through our own intelligence information and in collaboration with Israeli colleagues. “It seems clear that Iran has adjusted its attack so that it can be contained by the Israelis,” said former NATO Secretary General George Robertson in an APA interview in Vienna. Iran’s first direct attack was a “dramatic escalation,” but Tehran clearly did not want to score a hit. An Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman demanded recognition from the international community for his alleged “restraint” towards Israel.

Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg (ÖVP) announced on Monday on X that he had spoken to Iranian Foreign Minister Hussein Amirabdollahian on the phone in the morning. He, Schallenberg, strongly condemned the attack on Israel and called for contributing to de-escalation. “We cannot afford another front in the Middle East. There would only be losers, in the region and beyond,” emphasized Schallenberg. “I also called on my counterpart to assert Iranian influence on the proxies in the region,” Schallenberg continued. The situation in Gaza was also a topic of discussion.

In an interview with the Oberösterreichische Nachrichten (Tuesday edition), Federal President Alexander van der Bellen praised the “extremely positive role” of the USA. “By relying on de-escalation and by trying to prevent the Israeli government from taking hasty steps.”

According to President Emmanuel Macron, France will work to ensure that there is no further escalation in the conflict between Iran and Israel. “We are all worried about a possible escalation,” he said on Monday in an interview with the TV station BFM and the radio station RMC. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz warned both Iran and Israel not to further contribute to escalation in the Middle East.

Great Britain’s Prime Minister Rishi Sunak called for people to keep a cool head. Sunak said on Monday in Parliament in London that he would speak to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shortly. He wanted to express his solidarity with Israel in the face of the attack and discuss how to avoid further escalation. “All sides must exercise restraint.” British Foreign Secretary David Cameron called on Israel to refrain from retaliation following the Iranian attack. The Tehran leadership’s actions were an almost complete failure and the focus should continue to be on agreeing a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip.

“If you’re sitting in Israel this morning, you’re right to think that we have every right to respond to this, and they do. But we’re urging that they don’t escalate,” Cameron told Sky News. “In many ways, this was a double defeat for Iran. The attack was an almost complete failure, and they showed the world that they are the malign influence in the region that is willing to do something like this. So we hope that there will be no retaliation.”

Russia called on all countries in the region to exercise restraint. Russia is very concerned about the escalation of tensions in the Middle East following the Iranian drone and missile attack on Israel over the weekend, presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said. A further escalation is in nobody’s interest. The government in Moscow believes that all differences of opinion should be resolved through political and diplomatic means. The Secretary of the Russian Security Council, Nikolai Patrushev, in conversation with the head of the Israeli National Security Council, Tsakhi Ha-Negbi, stressed on Monday “the need for restraint on all sides of the conflict in the Middle East in order to prevent its escalation,” as the Russian state agencies reported.

Russia has not openly criticized its ally Iran for the attack on Israel. Instead, it pointed out on Sunday that Iran had spoken of acting within the framework of its right to self-defense after an attack on the Iranian embassy in Damascus attributed to Israel. Iran portrayed the operation, called “Sincere Promise,” as retaliation for the killing of high-ranking officers in Syria. On April 1, two brigadier generals were killed in a suspected Israeli-led airstrike on the Iranian embassy compound in Damascus.

The EU is considering possible new sanctions against Iran after the attack on Israel. As several diplomats said on Monday evening after discussions between representatives of the member states in Brussels, the topic is likely to come up on the table on Tuesday from 5 p.m. during a video link between the foreign ministers – including Alexander Schallenberg (ÖVP). New punitive measures could therefore be imposed via a sanctions regime that was set up after Iran began supporting Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine through drone deliveries. Among other things, it has so far banned the export of components to Iran that are used for the construction and production of unmanned aircraft. In addition, people and organizations are also affected by punitive measures.


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