Sunday, May 19, 2024

Biden told Netanyahu US won’t support Israeli counterattack on Iran

US President Joe Biden told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a phone call that Washington will oppose any Tel Aviv counterattack against Tehran, a senior White House official told Axios.

Biden and his senior advisers are highly concerned an Israeli response to Iran’s attack would lead to a regional war with catastrophic consequences, US officials stated.

Tehran launched drone and missile attacks against Israel on Saturday night local time in retaliation for an airstrike in Syria that killed seven members of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC).

Biden told Netanyahu the joint defensive efforts by Israel, the US and other countries in the region led to “the failure of the Iranian attack”, according to the White House official.

“You got a win. Take the win,” Biden told Netanyahu, according to the official.

The official added that when Biden told Netanyahu that the US will not participate in any offensive operations against Iran and will not support such operations, Netanyahu said he understood.

US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin also spoke on Saturday with his Israeli counterpart Yoav Gallant and asked that Israel notify Washington ahead of any response against Iran, a senior Israeli official stated.

Austin has also condemned the Iranian attack as “reckless and unprecedented”.

“We do not seek conflict with Iran, but we will not hesitate to act to protect our forces and support the defense of Israel,” he said in a statement.

The US secretary of state has also issued a statement condemning the Iranian launches “in the strongest terms”.

Antony Blinken stated that the US does “not seek escalation” but will “continue to support” Israel’s defence and defend US personnel.

“I will be consulting with allies and partners in the region and around the world in the hours and days ahead,” he added.

Iran’s permanent mission to the United Nations has defended the country’s retaliation against the Israeli regime’s recent terrorist attack on Tehran’s diplomatic premises in Damascus.

“Iran’s military action was based on Article 51 of the United Nations Charter concerning legitimate defense in response to the Zionist regime’s aggression against our diplomatic premises in Damascus,” the mission said in a statement on Saturday.

“The matter can be considered as concluded,” it added.

The mission, however, warned that if the Israeli regime perpetrated another mistake, Iran’s subsequent response could be “remarkably more intense”.

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