Iran Officials Threaten US Not to Retaliate to Its Attack on Israel

Jack Phillips
By Jack Phillips
April 14, 2024Middle East
Iran Officials Threaten US Not to Retaliate to Its Attack on Israel
Iranian Armed Forces chief of staff Major General Mohammad Bagheri speaks during the the International Conference on the Legal-International Claims of the Holy Defense in the capital Tehran on Feb. 23, 2021. (Atta Kenare/AFP via Getty Images)

Iran on Sunday warned Israel and the United States that it would carry out a larger attack if either country retaliates against Tehran’s overnight missile and drone attack, saying that U.S. military bases could be in its crosshairs.

Iran launched explosive drones and shot missiles at Israel late on Saturday in what has been described as its first direct attack on Israel. The Islamic regime has said that the attack was warranted after Israel’s bombing a Syrian compound in early April that left seven members of its Revolutionary Guard Corps dead.

“Our response will be much larger than tonight’s military action if Israel retaliates against Iran,” armed forces chief of staff Major General Mohammad Bagheri told state-run media on Sunday, saying that Iran warned the United States that any support of an Israeli counterattack against Iran would lead to American bases being targeted. All U.S. assets and bases in the region could be targeted, he added.

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi sent a message praising Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard for launching the attack, claiming it had taught Israel a lesson. He also warned that “any new adventure against the interests of the Iranian nation would be met with a heavier and regretful response from the Islamic Republic of Iran.”

The general and other Iranian officials then claimed that Iran’s “operations are over” and that Tehran has “no intention to continue them” before claiming the attack successfully hit two Israeli bases.

Also Sunday, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian said his country has no intention of continuing the military operation against Israel. “At this juncture, the Islamic Republic of Iran has no intention of continuing defensive operations,” he wrote on X, and he added: “But if necessary, it will not hesitate to protect its legitimate interests against any new aggression.”

Mr. Amirabdollahian called the attack “exercising the right of legitimate defense” and said it shows Iran’s responsible approach to “regional and international peace and security.”

He added in a news conference that Iran had notified the United States of the impending attack. “Early Sunday in a message to the White House we announced that our operation would be limited and minimalistic and aimed at legitimate defense and punishing the Israeli regime,” the minister said.

Iran vowed repeatedly that it would respond to an apparent Israeli strike on an Iranian diplomatic compound in Damascus on April 1 that killed two generals. Sunday’s assault allowed the Islamic regime to show to its citizens that it won’t stand by when its assets are attacked and that it was serious when it threatened revenge.

But Israeli officials suggested that the Iranian attack was mostly a failure, saying that most of the 300 or so drones and missiles that it launched were intercepted. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wrote on social media that “we intercepted. We blocked. Together, we will win.”

An Israeli army spokesman, Daniel Hagari, told The Associated Press that 99 percent of the drones and various types of missiles were intercepted outside of Israeli territory. One missile caused minor damage to an air base, and another injured a 7-year-old girl, he said.

Neither the Israeli government, nor the United States has indicated whether there will be retaliatory strikes. But anonymous White House officials have told multiple news outlets on Sunday that Washington will not get involved.

At the same time, on Saturday, Iran’s Revolutionary Guards confirmed to news outlets that it seized an Israel-linked cargo ship in the Strait of Hormuz, which is considered one of the world’s key shipping chokepoints. It comes amid months of attacks carried out by Iran-backed Houthi terrorists on ships passing through the area.

NTD Photo
An anti-missile system operates after Iran launched drones and missiles towards Israel, as seen from Ashkelon, Israel, on April 14, 2024. (Amir Cohen/Reuters)


The U.N. Security Council announced it called an emergency meeting for 4 p.m. EDT on Sunday after the attack, according to Israel’s U.N. Ambassador Gilad Erdan in a letter. “The gravity and volume of the attacks is unprecedented,” he said.

“I strongly condemn the serious escalation represented by the large-scale attack launched on Israel by the Islamic Republic of Iran this evening,” U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres said in a statement issued on Saturday night, calling for an end to the hostilities.

“I am deeply alarmed about the very real danger of a devastating region-wide escalation. I urge all parties to exercise maximum restraint to avoid any action that could lead to major military confrontations on multiple fronts in the Middle East,” he wrote, adding that his office has “stressed that neither the region nor the world can afford another war.”

Meanwhile, leaders of the Group of Seven industrialized nations, or G7, will hold a video conference Sunday to discuss an unprecedented Iranian attack against Israel.

Italian Premier Giorgia Meloni, whose country holds the G7 rotating presidency, wrote on X: “We express strong concern about a further destabilization of the region and continue to work to avoid it,” while President Joe Biden said the meeting is “to coordinate a united diplomatic response to Iran’s brazen attack.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

From The Epoch Times

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