Iran Summons British, French, German Envoys Over Reactions On Israel Attack

After multiple countries denounced Iran’s strike on Israel, Tehran’s foreign ministry summoned the French, British, and German ambassadors, citing “the irresponsible positions of certain officials of these countries regarding Iran’s response,” according to a statement.

Late Saturday, Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps claimed the firing of “dozens of drones and missiles” toward Israeli military targets.

“Iran’s military action was in response to the Zionist regime’s aggression against our diplomatic premises in Damascus earlier this month,” the Iranian envoy to the UN said, describing it as “legitimate defence.”

Israel’s army said it had shot down 99 percent of the drones and missiles with the assistance of the US and other partners, proclaiming Iran’s attempt “foiled”.

Mohammad Bagheri, the Iranian army chief of staff, stated that the strike had “achieved all of its objectives” and that there was “no intention to continue this operation”.

Iran’s reply, according to Bagheri, targeted a “intelligence centre” and the air base from which Israeli F-35 fighters took out to bomb the Damascus consulate on April 1.

“Both of these centres were significantly destroyed,” he said, despite Israel’s claim that the bombardment caused very little damage.

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 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.

Over the last two weeks, Iranian authorities have frequently pledged to “punish” Israel for the deaths of seven Guards, including two Quds Force generals, in the attack on the Iranian consulate in Damascus.

Iran blames Israel for the strike.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s Supreme Leader, predicted Israel would be “slapped for that action” in the days following the strike.

Since Iran’s 1979 revolution, Israel has been the Islamic republic’s declared nemesis.

Iran has frequently advocated for Israel’s annihilation, and sympathy for the Palestinian cause is a key pillar of the Islamic revolution.

However, until Saturday, Tehran had refrained from launching a direct strike on Israel.

Instead, it has supported members of the so-called “Axis of Resistance” against Israel, including Lebanon’s Hezbollah and Yemen’s Huthi rebels, since the commencement of conflict in Gaza between Israel and Palestinian militant group Hamas on October 7.

Hours before Saturday’s strikes, Iran captured an Israeli-linked container ship in the Gulf, which Washington described as “piracy.”

 ‘Next slap will be fiercer’

During the night, Tehran 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.

Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian later said Tehran had notified neighbouring countries ahead of the military operation, stressing its objective was “to punish the Israeli regime”.

“We are not seeking to target the American people or American bases in the region,” he said, but warned that Iran could target US military positions involved in “defending and supporting” Israel.

“The next slap will be fiercer,” warned a 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 face “the consequences of choosing to escalate the situation any further”.

Israel has not announced its likely retaliation.

According to experts, an Israeli attack on Iranian territory, maybe targeting military or nuclear assets, is not out of the question.

Iran’s Imam Khomeini international airport and the domestic Mehrabad airport will be closed till Monday at 06:00 a.m. (0230 GMT), according to ISNA news agency.

Several international airlines have suspended flights over Iranian airspace.

Countries such as Russia and France have urged their citizens to avoid visiting Iran and Israel.

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