Israeli Response to Iran’s Retaliatory Attack May be Imminent, Country’s Official Says

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•Iran warns of ‘decisive’ strikes in reaction to any Israeli counterattack 

•Step back from the brink, UN warns

Chigozie  Amadi

There are strong indications that Israel’s response to Iranian attack might be imminent, an Israeli official said yesterday.

Speaking after Israel’s war cabinet met for several hours, the official said Israeli decision-makers believed it was important for any response to closely follow the attack.

Several diplomatic and military options were examined during the cabinet meeting, the official said.

“Any response will be coordinated with the Americans,” the official added.

This came as Israel and Iran clashed at an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council yesterday. Tehran insisted it did not seek further escalation after launching the barrage of 300 drones and missiles, but warned of more “decisive” strikes in retaliation to any Israeli counterattack.

UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, said it was time to “step back from the brink” as a chorus of world leaders urged restraint.

President Joe Biden had warned Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, against launching new strikes on Iran, and said the US would not participate in any offensive actions against Iran. But Biden entertained fears that Netanyahu was trying to drag the US into a wider conflict, US officials said.

Iranian Foreign Minister, Hossein Abdollahian, warned that if Israel launched an attack, the regime’s next response “will be immediate, stronger and more extensive”.

Abdollahian made the comment during a call with the UK foreign minister, David Cameron, yesterday, according to a state news report.

He reiterated Tehran’s position that the assault on Israel was within the country’s legal right to respond to the strike on its diplomatic building and blamed the region’s tensions on “the destructive role of the occupying Israeli regime”.

Cameron confirmed his call with Abdollahian in a post on X, and said he formally condemned Iran’s retaliatory strike on Israel.

He also discussed the seizure of a Portuguese-flagged ship, which the Revolutionary Guards seized in the Strait of Hormuz.

“I made clear that Iran must stop these reckless attacks, de-escalate and release the MSC Aries,” Cameron wrote.