Iran calls for restraint from Israel after direct military strike

371

14th April 2024 – (Tehran) Iran conducted its first direct military attack on Israeli soil late Saturday, following what Tehran describes as a retaliatory move against Israeli actions. The Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps launched several drones and missiles targeting military sites within Israel, a response to an earlier incident on 1st April, where Israeli F-35 jets allegedly attacked Iran’s consulate in Damascus.

Iran’s mission to the United Nations articulated that the operation was a measure of self-defence, sanctioned under Article 51 of the UN Charter. The statement released on X, formerly known as Twitter, shortly after the attack commenced, suggested that the matter should now be considered resolved. However, it warned that any further provocations by Israel would provoke a more severe response from Iran.

Despite the severity of the strike, the Israeli military reported successful interception of the majority of the incoming drones and missiles, with the aid of the United States and other allies, effectively neutralising the threat. The Iranian military, nevertheless, claimed that their objectives were met, stating that significant damage was inflicted on an intelligence centre and an air base linked to the April 1st consulate attack.

General Mohammad Bagheri, Iran’s army chief of staff, emphasised that the military action had achieved its intended goals and urged Israel to refrain from further military actions to avoid a more substantial Iranian response.

The attack has been characterised by analysts as a calibrated show of force, potentially designed to allow both sides to avoid an immediate escalation. Nishank Motwani, a senior analyst at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, noted that Iran’s method of attack was likely telegraphed to showcase its capabilities while simultaneously providing room for de-escalation.

The backdrop to these events includes a vow from Iranian authorities to avenge the deaths of seven Revolutionary Guards, including two high-ranking officials of the Quds Force, killed in the April 1st consulate bombing—an act Tehran attributes to Israel. Since the Islamic revolution of 1979, which ousted the U.S.-backed Shah, Iran has positioned itself as a staunch adversary of Israel, frequently expressing support for Palestinian causes and backing groups opposed to Israeli interests, such as Hezbollah and the Houthi rebels.

In a related development, Iran seized an Israeli-affiliated container ship in the Gulf just hours before the strikes, an act the United States decried as piracy. Moreover, Tehran has issued a stern warning to the U.S., urging non-interference in its conflict with Israel and threatening reciprocal actions against any aggressive stance from the American or Israeli governments.