Iran FM downplays reported Israeli retaliation

Iran FM downplays reported Israeli retaliation
Iran FM downplays reported Israeli retaliation

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Nevin Al Sukari - Sana'a - Iranians wave the flags of Palestine and Iran they gather during an anti-Israel demonstration after the Friday noon prayer in Tehran on April 19, 2024. ― AFP pic

TEHRAN, Iran, Apr 20 ― Iran’s foreign minister has dismissed as akin to child’s play the reported Israeli retaliation for an unprecedented Iranian strike, and said Tehran would not respond unless Iranian “interests” were targeted.

Yesterday, Iran’s state media reported explosions were heard after, according to an official, small drones were successfully shot down.

Media in the United States quoted officials there as saying Israel had carried out strikes in retaliation for Tehran’s drone and missile barrage fired at Israel last weekend.

“What happened last night was no attack,” Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian told NBC News in a Friday interview.

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“It was the flight of two or three quad-copters, which are at the level of toys that our children use in Iran.”

He added that, “As long as there is no new adventure on behalf of the Israeli regime against Iran’s interests, we will have no response.”

Yesterday’s explosions prompted world leaders to appeal for calm and de-escalation with fears of wider conflict against the backdrop of the war in Gaza which began on October 7.

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Overnight last Saturday-Sunday Iran launched its first-ever direct attack on Israeli territory. The barrage was in response to a deadly April 1 air strike on Tehran’s consulate in Damascus, which Iran blamed on Israel.

The Israeli army said the vast majority of the more than 300 missiles and drones fired by Iran were shot down ― with the help of the United States and other allies ― and that the attack caused only minimal damage.

Israeli officials have made no public comment on what happened Friday, and analysts said both sides are looking to de-escalate, for now.

“If the Israeli regime intends to take another action against our interests, our next response will be immediate and to the maximum,” Amir-Abdollahian said in the interview. ― AFP

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