Iran had no option but to attack Israel, says Foreign Minister

Attack at the weekend followed a deadly strike on an Iranian consulate building in Damascus

Iran's Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian said Israel 'must be compelled to stop any further military adventurism against our interests'. Reuters
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Iran's Foreign Minister said on Thursday that the attack on Israel at the weekend was necessary as Tehran had “no other option”.

On Saturday, Iran launched its first direct attack on Israel, firing a barrage of drones and missiles that were mostly intercepted by Israel, the US and a coalition of other nations.

The attack followed a deadly strike on an Iranian consulate building in Damascus, believed to have been carried out by Israel.

“The attack by my country's armed forces was limited and minimal, targeting only military bases, and was in line with the international law and the principle of non-aggression against civilian areas, to ensure proportionality and accurate execution to achieve the goals,” Hossein Amirabdollahian told a high-level ministerial meeting on the Middle East at the Security Council.

He added that the countermeasures have been concluded.

Reiterating his country’s legitimate right to self-defence, the Foreign Minister said Israel “must be compelled to stop any further military adventurism against our interests”.

Iran will make Israel regret any reprisals, he added.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres urged world leaders to end the long-standing “bloody cycle” of retaliation in the Middle East and avoid any actions that might tip the region “over the edge”.

“One miscalculation, one miscommunication, one mistake, could lead to the unthinkable, a full-scale regional conflict that would be devastating for all involved, and for the rest of the world,” Mr Guterres told the Security Council.

Israeli officials have not said when, where or how they will retaliate, but the country's military chief has vowed to respond.

“In case of any use of force by the Israeli regime and violating our sovereignty, the Islamic Republic of Iran will not hesitate a bit to assert its inherent rights to give a decisive and proper response to it to make the regime regret its actions,” Mr Amirabdollahian said.

He also condemned the “unfortunate and completely irresponsible behaviour” of the US, Britain and France in failing to issue a “simple condemnation” of the Damascus attack.

“No member state will remain silent in face of such a brazen and serious military attack on his embassy, which is considered a symbol of its sovereignty, as well as the killing of its legal official and diplomat agents,” he said.

On Thursday the US and UK announced new sanctions on Iran's drone programme in response to the attack on Israel.

The US President Joe Biden said the sanctions and export controls were intended to “further degrade Iran’s military industries”.

Mr Amirabdollahian also held a phone call with Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Sheikh Abdullah "emphasised the importance of exercising the utmost self-restraint and working to prevent the expansion of the circle of tension in the Middle East", news agency Wam reported.

Updated: April 22, 2024, 6:19 AM