Saturday, May 25, 2024

Israel urges sanctions against Iran after aerial attack

Israel has launched an anti-Iran “diplomatic offensive”, calling for sanctions against Tehran. The move follows Iran's retaliatory attacks against Israel involving drones and missiles.

Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz said on Tuesday that he has contacted 32 countries calling on them to impose sanctions against Tehran. The move comes as Israel mulls a military response to Iran’s attack on Israel.

Iran says its attacks on Saturday, using more than 300 drones, cruise missiles and ballistic missiles, were in retaliation for Israel’s strike on the Iranian consulate in Syria. That attack killed 13 people, including two commanders of the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC).

“Alongside the military response to the firing of the missiles and the UAVs, I am leading a diplomatic offensive against Iran,” Katz said on X.

“This morning, I sent letters to 32 countries and spoke with dozens of foreign ministers and leading figures around the world, calling for sanctions to be imposed on the Iranian missile project and that the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps be declared a terrorist organisation”.

Katz did not specify which governments he had asked to impose the sanctions.

“Iran must be stopped now – before it is too late,” he insisted.

Tension is high as Israel mulls its reaction to Saturday’s attack.

International pressure calling for restraint is rife from Tel Aviv’s partners amid fears that the war in Gaza threatens further escalation of conflict in the Middle East.

However, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and military commanders have pledged retaliation, albeit in undefined form for the meantime.

Chief of staff Herzi Halevi stated on Monday that “this launch of so many missiles, cruise missiles and drones into Israeli territory will be met with a response” but gave no details.

Against this backdrop, Iran warned on Tuesday that it will respond swiftly to any action against its interests.

“We categorically declare that the smallest action against Iranian interests will certainly be met with a severe, widespread and painful response against any perpetrator,” President Ebrahim Raisi told Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.

Iran’s deputy foreign minister Ali Bagheri Kani told state TV on Monday night that Tehran’s response to any Israeli retaliation would be “a matter of seconds”.

Iran will not wait for another 12 days to respond, he added, a reference to the delay between the April 1 strike on the Syrian diplomatic facility and Iran’s attacks on Israel.

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