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'We will not hesitate to...': Iran warned of 'decisive response' at UN ahead of Israeli attack

Iran's warning comes hours before Israel reportedly launched a missile attack in retaliation for Tehran's missile and drone attack on Saturday. A loud explosion was heard in the central city of Isfahan as concerns rise of a wider war in the Middle East.

Edited By: Aveek Banerjee @AveekABanerjee New York Updated on: April 19, 2024 14:49 IST
Iran, Iran warns Israel, Iran Israel conflict
Image Source : ANI Iran's Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian

New York: Hours before Israel reportedly launched a massive attack on Iran in response to the Iranian air assault on Saturday, Iran's Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian had warned Israel at the United Nations against taking any military actions targeting Iranian interests. Israeli forces on Friday morning launched a missile attack on Iran on Friday morning, while Iran activated air defence systems as explosions were heard in the centre of the country.

"Iran's legitimate defence and countermeasures have been concluded. Therefore, the Israeli regime must be compelled to stop any further military adventurism against our centres, assets and interests. Certainly, in case of any illegal 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 right to give a decisive and proper response to it to make the regime regret its actions," said Amir-Abdollahian during a meeting on the Middle East situation at the UN Security Council.

In a press release, the Iranian embassy in India said that Iran acted in self-defence in response to the "Zionist regime's heinous military aggression and unlawful use of force against diplomatic premises of Iran in Damascus, the Syrian Arab Republic on 1 April 2024." It also said that Israel's suspected bombing of the embassy was in violation of the UN Charter and basic norms of international law, calling it a "terrorist attack".

The statement also slammed the UN Security Council for failing to confront such an evident violation of international regulations and fulfilling its duty in an unbiased and undiscriminating manner. "Consequently, there was no other choice rather than resorting to the inherent right of Self Defence as articulated in Article 51 of the UN Charter, aimed at defending our nation, national security and sovereignty," it said. 

What did Iran's Foreign Minister say?

Meanwhile, at the UNSC, Iran's Foreign Minister lashed out at Israel for carrying out the missile attack on Syria and said it showed that the "regime does not hesitate to violate the fundamental principle of the immunity of such places and people as well as the known and well recognised Vienna Conventions". He criticised the US, UK, and France for not issuing a statement over the attack on the Iranian diplomatic premises in Damascus.

"Regrettably, the Security Council, had not taken any action during the past months to our official and repeated requests to prevent further attacks by the Israeli regime on Iran's interests, centres and official military advisors who were there to fight terrorism and due to the unfortunate and completely irresponsible behaviour of the United States, the UK and France, in response to this illegal attack, failed even to issue a mere statement containing a simple condemnation," he added.

Amir-Abdollahian further warned that Iran would not remain silent after such a serious military attack and that the Islamic Republic had shown considerable restraint against other "terrorist" missile attacks bearing in mind the dire situation in the Middle East and was willing to give the UN a chance to prevent the escalation of conflict. He also asserted that Iran's attack on Israel was limited, proportionate and non-aggressive.

Israel attacks Iran

This came hours before Israel retaliated with a missile strike on Iran in the early hours of Friday, further escalating tensions of a wider war in the Middle East. Israeli missiles have hit a site in Iran, a US official told ABC News while Iranian state media reported an explosion at an airport in the central city of Isfahan. Iran suspended flights over the cities of Isfahan, Shiraz and Tehran, state media reported.

Israel had said it would retaliate against Iran's weekend attack, which involved 300 missiles and projectiles in retaliation for a suspected Israeli strike on its embassy compound in Syria. Most of the Iranian drones and missiles were downed before reaching Israeli territory. Analysts and observers have been raising concerns about the risks of the Israel-Gaza war spreading into the rest of the region.

The state-run IRNA news agency said the defences fired across several provinces. It did not elaborate on what caused the batteries to fire, though people across the area reported hearing the sounds. The semiofficial Fars and Tasnim news agencies reported the sound of blasts, without giving a cause. State television acknowledged “loud noise" in the area.

Oil prices and jumped on the reports of the Israeli strike. Brent crude futures rose 2 per cent to $88.86 a barrel, the dollar gained broadly, gold rose 1 per cent and S&P 500 futures dropped 1 per cent. However, in a major turn of events later, an Iranian official told the news agency Reuters that there was no "missile" attack on Tehran.  It said that the explosion heard in the Isfahan was a result of the activation of Iran's air defence system. 

(with inputs from agencies)

ALSO READ | Iran shuts major airports, diverts flight path as Israel launches massive attack near Isfahan



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