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Hossein Amir-Abdollahian: Iran’s response will be “immediate and at a maximum level,” foreign minister warns Israel



CNN

Iran’s response if Israel took further military action against it would be “immediate and at the maximum level”, Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian told CNN on Thursday, amid fears of an escalation of the conflict in Middle East are growing.

“In case the Israeli regime again engages in adventurism and takes action against Iran’s interests, the next response from us will be immediate and at the maximum level,” Amir-Abdollahian told Erin Burnett of CNN in an exclusive interview in New York.

His remarks follow an unprecedented Iranian attack on Israel last week, which Tehran called retaliation for a suspected deadly Israeli airstrike on the Iranian consulate in Syria – putting the region at risk as Israel pledged to fight back.

Hours after Amir-Abdollahian’s remarks, an explosion was heard near the airport in the central Iranian city of Isfahan, Iran’s semi-official FARS news agency reported on Friday. citing local sources. The cause of this explosion is unclear.

Last Saturday, Iran launched hundreds of drones and missiles at Israel in response to the April 1 attack on its consulate in Damascus, which killed at least seven officials, including a top Iranian commander.

The Iranian attack on April 13 seemed designed to maximize spectacle while minimizing casualties, and Israel and its allies shot down the vast majority of the projectiles.

The tit-for-tat strikes exposed a decades-long shadow war between Israel and Iran and spread fear across the Middle East.

Israel’s allies, including the United States, have called on Israel for restraint in a bid to prevent the strikes from escalating into a regional war, as the ongoing war between Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas in Gaza skyrocketing tensions between Israel and its neighbors.

It is not yet clear whether Israel will listen to the calls of its allies.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Wednesday that Israel would make its “own decisions” in response to Iranian airstrikes.

Speaking from Iran’s permanent mission to the United Nations, Amir-Abdollahian said Iran sincerely hoped that Israel would not repeat the “previous blatant mistake,” referring to the apparent Israeli strike in Damascus.

“If the Israeli regime once again commits the grave mistake, our response will be decisive, definitive and full of regret for it,” said Amir-Abdollahian, stressing that this warning had been communicated to the White House via the Swiss embassy in Tehran.

“We do not seek to create tensions and crises or increase such situations in the Middle East and we sincerely hope that the Israeli regime will not repeat the previous blatant mistake,” he said.

The details of a possible “maximum response” were planned by the Iranian armed forces, he added.

Amir-Abdollahian also said he hoped potential Israeli actions could be stopped by the United States and that the White House would “not grant further authorization to seek adventure” by Israel.

“We believe America will calculate based on the messages exchanged between us over the last six months,” he said when asked whether U.S. assets could be targeted if the United States helped to defend against missiles launched against Iran.

“In the previous operation, we announced to the Americans that we would not target American bases and installations in the region unless we encountered a situation in which the United States of America would side with the Israeli government to expand their activities.

Amir-Abdollahian also said that the intention of the Iranian strike against Israel last weekend was “to warn” and “to have taken equal measures” and “to make it known that we have the means to respond.” .

He said the more than 300 missiles and drones fired by Iran on Saturday “remained within minimal range” and that the action constituted a “legitimate defense” in response to the suspected Israeli strike.

“Our response operations were conducted at a minimum because we were not looking to hit multiple targets,” he said.

This story has been updated with additional developments.

News Source : amp.cnn.com
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