UN Security Council to meet Sunday on Iran attack

AFP , Ahram Online , Sunday 14 Apr 2024

The UN Security Council will hold an emergency meeting Sunday over Iran's unprecedented drone and missile attack on Israel, the body's president said.

File photo - The UN Security Council holds an emergency meeting at UN headquarters in New York on April 5, 2024. AFP


The meeting is scheduled to be held at 4:00 pm (2000 GMT) on Sunday and is at Israel's request, a spokesperson for Malta, which has the rotating presidency this month, told the media Saturday evening.

Israel's envoy to the UN, in a letter to the Security Council president, called Iran's air assault a "flagrant violation of Israel's sovereignty."

"Today, Iran has launched a direct attack from within its territory of more than 200 (drones), cruise missiles and ballistic missiles towards Israel," Israeli ambassador Gilad Erdan wrote.

"The attack is a severe and dangerous escalation."

Erdan demanded that the Security Council "condemn Iran for these grave violations" and designate its Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IGRC), the armed force defending Tehran's government, as a "terrorist organization."

Iran says its military action against Israel came in response to the Israeli attack against Iran’s diplomatic mission in Damascus in early April and, therefore, falls under Article 51 of the UN Charter protecting countries' rights to legitimate defence.

Tehran also warned Tel Aviv of a harsher response if attacked by Israel again.

Iran-backed groups in Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, and Yemen have carried out a flurry of attacks on Israeli and Western targets since October 7 after Israel started its war on Gaza.

In recent years, Israel assassinated several Iranian nuclear scientists and carried out attacks against Iranian targets in the region, including Syria.

Retaliatory operation

Iran says its unprecedented direct attack on Israel came in response to an Israeli strike on the Iranian consulate in Syria on 1 April, which killed top Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) commanders.

The Israeli military said the Iranian attack comprised over 300 drones, cruise missiles, and ballistic missiles.

Tel Aviv claimed that “99 percent” of the projectiles were intercepted by Israel and its partners although “a small number” of ballistic missiles found their way to Israel.

The ballistic missiles hit the Nevatim Air Base in southern Israel, causing only light damage, the Israeli military said.

However, IRGC Commander Hossein Salami called the operation, carried out by the Iranian elite forces, “a success that exceeded expectation,” reported the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA).

Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi said Iran has taught Israel “an unforgettable lesson,” calling the operation an act of “legitimate self-defence.”

“Any new adventure against Iran's interests will be met with a firm and regrettable response,” Raisi warned.

Israel's Channel 12 TV quoted an unnamed Israeli official as vowing a “significant response” to the attack.

In a phone call with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Joe Biden called the Israeli interception of the attack a “win” for Israel, Axios quoted a senior White House official as saying.

Biden told Netanyahu that the US will oppose any Israeli counterattack against Iran, the official added.

In the wake of the operation, several countries, including Egypt, Russia, and China, urged all parties involved to exercise utmost restraint.

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