Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Israel launches diplomatic offensive against Iran


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TEL AVIV/ TEHRAN, April 16: Israel’s foreign minister Israel Katz has launched what he called a “diplomatic offensive” against Iran following the major Iranian attack on Israel.
“This morning I sent letters to 32 countries and spoke with dozens of foreign ministers and leading figures around the world,” Katz wrote on Tuesday on the X platform.
He called for sanctions to be imposed on Iran’s missile programme and for the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) to be declared a terrorist organization. Katz believes these measures would help slow down and weaken Tehran.
“Iran must be stopped now – before it is too late,” he wrote.
Katz wrote that Israel’s diplomatic campaign against Iran should be flanked by a military response to Tehran’s attack with more than 300 missiles, cruise missiles and drones. Israel and allied defences intercepted almost all of the incoming fire.
Israel’s military leadership has signalled that it does not intend to leave the major Iranian attack on Saturday night unanswered.
Iran said it was in retaliation for a suspected Israeli strike on an Iranian diplomatic compound in Syria that killed two Iranian generals and five officers.
Iran President issues
warning yet again
Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi, during a phone call with Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim ibn Hamad Al Thani, issued a stern warning, emphasising that any action against Iran’s interests will be met with a severe and extensive response against all those involved, Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) reported.
Raisi highlighted recent regional developments, emphasising the ongoing plight of Palestinians in Gaza. He underscored the urgent need for effective measures to halt the Israel’s atrocities.
He stressed the need to take deterrent measures against the continuation of the Israel’s crimes in Gaza, especially by Islamic countries.
While the oppressed and powerful people of Gaza are still victorious in the field with their resistance, pedicide, genocide, and horrific crimes by the (Zionists) Isreal, are supported by the United States and some Western countries, he added, according to IRNA.
He condemned the terrorist attack on Iran’s consulate in Damascus as a desperate act stemming from the Israel’s failure to achieve its objectives in Gaza.
Raisi criticised the United Nations and the UN Security Council for failing to condemn the consulate attack, stressing Iran’s right to legitimate defence under Article 51 of the UN Charter. He also cited the necessity of taking deterrent actions against the ongoing crimes of Israel, particularly by Islamic nations.
Meanwhile, Emir Hamad Al Thani reaffirmed the strong bond between Iran and Qatar, noting their mutual support. He commended Qatar’s efforts to denounce the Israel’s aggression against Iran’s consulate in Damascus, highlighting global solidarity with the Palestinian cause.
He also lauded Iran’s strategic response to the Israel’s crimes, emphasising its clear message for everyone, IRNA reported.
Israeli Defence Minister talks next steps in Rafah
Meanwhile, Israel’s Defence Minister Yoav Gallant has discussed further action in Rafah with representatives of his ministry and the Israeli COGAT authority which oversees contacts with the Palestinians and aid.
They focused on the evacuation of civilians from Rafah, in the south of the Gaza Strip and the expansion of food and medicine deliveries, according to the government press office.
More than a million people have fled to Rafah from attacks throughout the densely populated strip and there are growing concerns that Israel’s planned offensive in Rafah could lead to mass civilian casualties.
Before Iran unleashed its attack on Israel last week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he had set a date for an offensive in Rafah, though Gallant contradicted this shortly afterwards.
Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Chief of Staff Lt Gen Herzi Halevi, on the other hand, has said that Iran will face the consequences of its action.
Halevi in a video statement on Monday, after visiting Nevatim air base in southern Israel, said that the ballistic missile and drone attack on Israel during early Sunday morning hours will be “met with a response.” Nevatim air base was hit in an attack by Iran and suffered minor damages. (Agencies)


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