President Joe Biden, appears talking about the war between Iran and Israel, in a video on a smartphone screen.

US Would Not Play A Role In An Israeli Retaliatory Attack On Iran

Monday, 04/15/2024

One day after Iran launched 350 missiles and drones against Israel, President Joe Biden warned Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu the US will not take part in a counter-offensive.

According to all evidence, 99 percent of Iranian projectiles failed to hit targets in Israel, mainly due to strong and multi-layered air defenses. The United States, Britain and Jordan also launched warplanes to shoot down incoming drones and cruise missiles.

However, as Netanyahu's war cabinet favors a retaliatory attack to re-establish deterrence against Israel’s sworn enemy, the US President tries to dissuade Israel from escalating the faceoff arguing that the failure of the Iranian attack is already a victory in itself.

President Biden has tiptoed around his support for Israel in recent weeks, after his strong stance immediately after the October 7 Hamas invasion. Critics say that the president should hold the Iranian regime responsible for all the mayhem in the region, should not offer any further sanctions waivers to Tehran and must re-establish deterrence against Iran.

The threat of open warfare erupting between the arch Middle East foes and dragging in the United States put the region on edge, triggering calls for restraint from global powers and Arab nations.

"The Middle East is on the brink. The people of the region are confronting a real danger of a devastating full-scale conflict. Now is the time to defuse and de-escalate," United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told a Security Council meeting called on Sunday in response to the strikes.

Various Iranian missiles on display. Sources say that 50% of missiles launched by Iran on April 13 failed.

Deputy US Ambassador to the UN Robert Wood called on the council to unequivocally condemn Iran's attack.

"Let me be clear: if Iran or its proxies take actions against the United States or further action against Israel, Iran will be held responsible," he said.

Still, Biden told Netanyahu the US would not participate in any Israeli counter-offensive against Iran over the attack, a White House official said.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin also spoke to counterparts including in Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Egypt and Jordan, stressing the need to avoid escalation, the importance of a coordinated diplomatic response, and emphasizing the US will continue to support Israel's defense.

Israeli officials said Netanyahu's five-member war cabinet favored retaliation in a meeting on Sunday, although the panel was divided over the timing and scale of any such response.

Two senior Israeli ministers signaled retaliation was not imminent and that Israel would not act alone.

"We will build a regional coalition and exact the price from Iran in the fashion and timing that is right for us," centrist minister Benny Gantz said ahead of a war cabinet meeting.

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant also said Israel had an opportunity to form a strategic alliance "against this grave threat by Iran."

Chief of staff of Iranian armed forces Major General Mohammad Bagheri said on television, "Our response will be much larger than tonight's military action if Israel retaliates against Iran," and told Washington that its bases could also be attacked if it helped Israel retaliate.

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said Tehran had informed the United States its attack on Israel would be limited and for self-defense and that regional neighbors had been informed of its planned strikes 72 hours in advance.

Turkish, Jordanian and Iraqi officials said on Sunday that Iran gave wide notice days before the attack, but US officials said Tehran did not warn Washington and was aiming to cause significant damage.

The leaders of the Group of 7 nations condemned Iran's attack and said they would work to stabilize the situation, warning in a statement that Tehran risked "an uncontrollable regional escalation."

With reporting by Reuters

Follow developments on Iran International's Live coverage of ongoing tensions between Iran and Israel.

More News