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US continues to stress importance of de-escalation amid rising tensions between Iran and Israel

Thu, 18 Apr 2024   |  Reading Time: 3 minutes

Washington, DC [US], April 18 (ANI): As tensions between Israel and Iran escalate, the US emphasises the importance of avoiding further escalation and collaborating with regional and global partners to formulate a “unified diplomatic” response to Iran’s “reckless and irresponsible behaviour,” stated US State Department Principal Deputy Spokesperson Vedant Patel in a press briefing on Wednesday.
When asked about Israel’s intentions following Iran’s attacks, Patel said, “I don’t have any updates or anything to offer on that. Ultimately, this is a decision for Israel to make. It’s their own decision. But we continue to be engaged with Israeli officials and members of the Israeli government.”
He further added, “To everyone, though, we continue to emphasise the importance of avoiding further escalation, and we’re working with partners in the region and around the world to continue to create a unified diplomatic response to Iran’s reckless and irresponsible behaviour over the course of this past weekend.”
Tensions between Israel and Iran escalated after Iran launched several drones and missiles towards Israel on Saturday in retaliation for an alleged Israeli air strike on its consulate in Syria, resulting in the killing of three top Iranian generals.
On Sunday morning, Israel Defence Forces (IDF) spokesperson Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari said that about 99 per cent of the 300 or so projectiles fired by Iran at Israel overnight were intercepted by air defences, as reported by The Times of Israel.
“The Iranian threat met the aerial and technological superiority of the IDF, combined with a strong fighting coalition, which together intercepted the vast majority of the threats,” Hagari said.
Meanwhile, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, at a cabinet meeting, vowed that Israel will make its own decisions and do whatever is necessary to protect itself, even if it contradicts the advice given by its allies, as reported by The Times of Israel.
Netanyahu made the remark at the cabinet meeting on Wednesday after meeting with the foreign ministers of the UK and Germany. Earlier in the day, UK Foreign Secretary David Cameron and German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock arrived in Israel after Tehran’s attack on the country, on the intervening nights of Saturday and Sunday, launching around 350 drone and missile strikes.
Germany and the UK have called on Israel to exercise restraint after its attack, warning that any additional direct hostilities with Iran could result in all-out war in the Middle East, according to The Times of Israel. However, Israel has vowed to retaliate against Iran, saying that it cannot be allowed to attack without facing repercussions.
In his remarks at the cabinet meeting, Netanyahu said that the two leaders had “all kinds of suggestions and advice.” He noted that while it was appreciated, Israel would nevertheless “make our own decisions, and Israel will do everything necessary to defend itself.”
Speaking to reporters in Israel, David Cameron said that it was clear there would be retaliation against Israel. However, he expressed hope that it is carried out in a “way that is smart as well as tough and also does as little as possible to escalate this conflict.”
Meanwhile, Annalena Baerbock expressed her opposition to Israel’s plan to retaliate against Iran. However, she added that Germany remains in full solidarity with Israel, as The Times of Israel reported.
Baerbock said, “Iran and its proxies, such as Hezbollah or the Houthis, must not be allowed to add fuel to the fire,” adding that there would be consequences to Iran’s strike as the European Union was working on imposing further sanctions against Tehran, according to The Times of Israel report.
Earlier, Netanyahu’s office said that during his meetings with Baerbock and Cameron, Israeli PM “reiterated that Israel would maintain its right to self-defense.”
In a post on X, Israel Prime Minister’s Office stated, “Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met today with British Foreign Secretary David Cameron and with German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock. During the meetings, Netanyahu reiterated that Israel would maintain its right to self-defense.” (ANI)



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