Israel under pressure to refrain from striking Iran after attack

AFP , Wednesday 17 Apr 2024

Israel faced pressure from its allies on Wednesday to refrain from striking back at Iran for its unprecedented missile and drone attack as Washington and Brussels vowed to ramp up sanctions against the Islamic republic.

Britain s Foreign Secretary David Cameron waits outside of Carlton Gardens in London on April 15, 2024, to greet Sweden s Foreign Minister, ahead of their meeting.AFP


British Foreign Secretary David Cameron and his German counterpart Annalena Baerbock were the first Western envoys to visit Israel and urge calm after Iran's weekend attack, against which Israel has vowed to retaliate.

Cameron said: "We're very anxious to avoid escalation and to say to our friends in Israel: It's a time to think with head as well as heart, and in many ways this is a double defeat for Iran.

"Not only was their attack an almost total failure, but also the rest of the world can now see what a malign influence they are in the region," Cameron told Times Radio.

It remained unclear how and when Israel might strike, and whether it would target Iran directly or attack its interests or allies abroad in places such as Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Yemen.

 US, EU toughen sanctions 

Israel's top ally the United States has made clear it won't join any attack on Iran and has called for de-escalation, as have a host of other Western and Arab leaders.

Washington has vowed instead to level more sanctions targeting Iran's missile and drone program, its Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and the Iranian defense ministry.

US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said the new measures "will continue a steady drumbeat of pressure to contain and degrade Iran's military capacity and effectiveness and confront the full range of its problematic behaviors".

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said Brussels was also working to expand sanctions against Iran, including its supply of drones and other weapons to Russia and to proxy groups around the Middle East.

Germany's Baerbock said that Berlin and Paris were in favor of a European sanctions regime against Iranian drones to be extended to include "missile technologies in Iran's arsenal".

She and Cameron both met Israeli President Isaac Herzog, who urged a global push to "work decisively and defiantly against the threat by the Iranian regime which is seeking to undermine the stability of the whole region".

Cameron, speaking to British broadcasters, also urged the G7 to adopt new "coordinated sanctions against Iran", ahead of a meeting with counterparts from the Western-led grouping in Italy.


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