US Secretary of State Antony Blinken

Israel's Response To Iran Attack Should Be 'Limited', Blinken Says

Wednesday, 04/17/2024

In a recent off-the-record meeting, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken told American Jewish leaders Israel's response to Iran's Saturday night aerial bombardment should be "limited".

According to Axios, quoting a person who attended the meeting, Blinken said that escalating the conflict between Israel and Iran serves neither Washington nor Jerusalem's interests, and advised that any Israeli response to Iranian aggressions should be "smart, strategic, and as limited as possible."

The guidance follows reports of President Joe Biden assuring Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that while the US will defend Israel from attacks, it will not support or engage in an Israeli attack on Iran.Biden has long been branded soft on Iran. During his tenure, Iran has accelerated its nuclear program, sold drones to Russia for its war on Ukraine, and embarked upon a nationwide crackdown on human rights. Hundreds were executed last year amid the worst uprising against the government since the founding of the Islamic Republic.

Over the weekend, Iran initiated an unprecedented attack on Israel, launching over 350 drones, ballistic missiles, and cruise missiles. This marked the first attack of its kind by Iran. The assault was expected as it followed Iran's promise to retaliate against Israel for an air strike on the Iranian consulate in Damascus on April 1 which killed two Quds Force commanders and several IRGC personnel.

The defensive operation saw Israel joined by the US, UK, Jordan and France in a night in which 99 percent of the onslaught was intercepted.

The meeting with Jewish leaders from across the US also touched on the role of Hamas in the ongoing tensions. Blinken said Hamas declined the latest hostage deal offer, anticipating that the recent Iranian strike would trigger a wider conflict. However, with a larger regional escalation now seeming unlikely, Hamas might feel pressured to reconsider negotiations.

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