Berliner Tageblatt - Iran says 'concluded' retaliation against Israel, summons Western envoys

NYSE - LSE
RBGPF 3.73% 58.5 $
CMSC 0.04% 24.49 $
SCS 0.45% 13.29 $
BCC 0.55% 138.33 $
RELX 0.25% 44.23 $
NGG 0.48% 72.72 $
CMSD 0.29% 24.31 $
AZN 2.61% 79.18 $
GSK -0.29% 44.46 $
RIO 0.12% 73.48 $
RYCEF -0.18% 5.515 $
JRI 0.52% 11.64 $
BCE -0.65% 33.85 $
BP -0.54% 37.06 $
VOD -2.2% 9.54 $
BTI 0.38% 31.47 $
Iran says 'concluded' retaliation against Israel, summons Western envoys
Iran says 'concluded' retaliation against Israel, summons Western envoys / Photo: © AFP

Iran says 'concluded' retaliation against Israel, summons Western envoys

Iran on Sunday urged Israel not to retaliate militarily to an unprecedented attack overnight, which Tehran presented as a justified response to a deadly strike on its consulate building in Damascus.

Text size:

"The matter can be deemed concluded," Iran's mission to the United Nations said in a post on social media platform X just a few hours after the start of the operation late Saturday.

"However, should the Israeli regime make another mistake, Iran's response will be considerably more severe," the Iranian mission warned.

Iranian president Ebrahim Raisi warned Sunday Israel and its allies against any "reckless" actions after Tehran's drone and missile attack, which marked the first time Iran has launched a direct military assault on Israeli territory.

"If the Zionist regime (Israel) or its supporters demonstrate reckless behaviour, they will receive a decisive and much stronger response," Raisi said in a statement.

After numerous countries condemned the attack, Tehran's foreign ministry summoned the French, British, and German ambassadors "following the irresponsible positions of certain officials of these countries regarding Iran's response", a statement said.

Late Saturday, Iran's Revolutionary Guards Corps announced that they had launched "dozens of drones and missiles" towards military sites on Israeli territory.

"Iran's military action was in response to the Zionist regime's aggression against our diplomatic premises in Damascus" earlier this month, the Iranian mission to the UN said, dubbing it "legitimate defence".

Israel's army said it had shot 99 percent of the drones and missiles with the help of the United States and other allies, declaring Iran's attack "foiled".

The Iranian army chief of staff Mohammad Bagheri said the attack has "achieved all its objectives".

Bagheri said Iran's retaliation targeted an "intelligence centre" and the air base from which Tehran says the Israeli F-35 jets took off to strike the Damascus consulate on April 1.

"Both these centres were significantly destroyed and put out of order," he said, though Israel maintains that the attack only resulted in minor damage.

"There is no intention to continue this operation," he said.

- Attack 'telegraphed' -

Experts have suggested that Saturday's slow-moving drone attack was calibrated to represent a show of power but also allow some wiggle room.

"It appears that Iran telegraphed its attack on Israel to demonstrate it can strike using different capabilities, to complicate the (Israeli army's) ability to neutralise the assault but also to provide an off-ramp to pause escalation," said Nishank Motwani, senior analyst at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute in Washington.

"Tehran can escalate if it chooses to across a range of vectors," said Motwani, including via Lebanon's Iran-backed armed group Hezbollah, sea attacks, "or hitting soft Israeli targets globally".

Over the last two weeks, the Iranian authorities had repeatedly vowed to "punish" Israel after the death of seven Guards including two generals of the Quds Force in the attack that levelled the Iranian consulate in Damascus.

Iran has blamed Israel for the attack.

In the days after the strike, Iran's Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Israel will be "slapped for that action".

Since a revolution in 1979 in Iran which toppled the US-backed Shah, Israel has been the sworn enemy of the Islamic republic.

Iran has often called for the destruction of Israel, with support of the Palestinian cause one of the pillars of the Islamic revolution.

However, until Saturday Tehran had also refrained from a direct attack on Israel.

Instead, it has backed members of the so-called "Axis of Resistance" against Israel, including Hezbollah and Yemen's Tehran-aligned Huthi rebels, since the outbreak of war in Gaza between Israel and Palestinian militant group Hamas on October 7.

Hours before the strikes on Saturday, Iran seized an Israeli-linked container ship in the Gulf which Washington called "an act of piracy".

- 'Next slap will be fiercer' -

During the night, Tehran also warned the United States, urging it to "stay away" from its conflict with Israel.

"If necessary", Tehran "will not hesitate to take defensive measures to protect its interests against any aggressive military action," Iran's foreign ministry said.

"The next slap will be fiercer," warned a new mural unveiled overnight in Tehran's Palestine Square, where several thousands gathered, shouting "Death to Israel" and "Death to America".

Before Tehran launched its attack, Israel warned Iran that it would suffer "the consequences for choosing to escalate the situation any further".

Israel has not revealed what a potential response would look like.

An Israeli attack on Iran's territory, possibly targeting military or nuclear sites, could not be ruled out, according to experts.

As a precaution, Iran's Imam Khomeini international airport and the Mehrabad airport, which is mainly dedicated to domestic flights, will remain closed until Monday at 06:00 am (0230 GMT), according to ISNA news agency.

 

Countries including Russia and France have asked their citizens to avoid travelling to Iran and Israel.

A.Gasser--BTB