Iranian foreign minister says it will not escalate conflict and mocks Israeli weapons as 'toys that our children play with'


Category:  News & Politics

Via:  perrie-halpern  •  one month ago  •  6 comments

By:   Tom Llamas, Rich Schapiro and Dan De Luce

Iranian foreign minister says it will not escalate conflict and mocks Israeli weapons as 'toys that our children play with'
In an interview with NBC News, Hossein Amirabdollahian refused to acknowledge that Israel was behind the recent attack on his country.

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T

Iran's foreign minister on Friday refused to acknowledge that Israel was behind the recent attack on his country and described the weapons that were used as more like children's toys.

"What happened last night was not a strike," the foreign minister, Hossein Amirabdollahian, said in an interview with NBC News' Tom Llamas. "They were more like toys that our children play with - not drones."

Amirabdollahian, who spoke to NBC News in New York where he was attending a U.N. Security Council session, said Iran was not planning to respond unless Israel launches a significant attack.

"As long as there is no new adventurism by Israel against our interests, then we are not going to have any new reactions," he said.

But the foreign minister warned that if Israel did attack Iran, the response would be swift and severe.

"If Israel takes a decisive action against my country and this is proven to us," he said, "our response will be immediate and to the maximum and will cause them to regret it."

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian during an interview with NBC News on Friday.NBC News

The recent cycle of violence between Israel and Iran began on April 1 when Israel bombed an Iranian consular building in the Syrian capital of Damascus, killing two generals and five officers in the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps.

Iran responded 12 days later, launching an unprecedented, direct military attack on Israel involving more than 300 missiles and drones. The assault caused no significant damage, however. Nearly all of the missiles and drones were intercepted by Israeli, U.S. and other allied forces.

Amirabdollahian said the attack was intended to be "a warning." "We could have hit Haifa and Tel Aviv," he said. "We could have also targeted all the economic ports of Israel."

"But our red lines was civilians," he added. "We only had a military purpose."

Although Iran has been locked in a shadow war with Israel for decades, with Iran arming and training proxy forces hostile to Israel in Lebanon, Syria, Yemen and the Palestinian enclave of Gaza, the Iranian aerial barrage marked the first time Tehran had staged an overt military attack on Israel.

In the days that followed, the Biden administration urged Israel to exercise restraint and not conduct a retaliatory attack that could trigger a full-blown war between the two longtime adversaries.

Israel, though, retaliated on Thursday night, striking a military airfield near the city of Isfahan in central Iran. Nuclear facilities in the area were not damaged, according to Iranian state media, and there were no reports of casualties.

The attack was downplayed by Iranian state media and met with mostly silence from Israeli officials. The limited scope of the strike and the lack of public statements afterward appears to indicate that both sides are looking to ease tensions, experts said.

U.S. officials called for calm. "We do not want to see this conflict escalate," White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Friday.

The Biden administration has accused Iran of being "complicit" in Hamas' Oct. 7 attack on Israel, citing Tehran's years-long effort to arm and train Hamas militants in the Gaza strip.

Iran touts its support for Hamas but the government has said it did not order or coordinate the Oct. 7 attack on Israel, which killed some 1,200 people.

In his interview, Amirabdollahian said Iran had no prior knowledge of Hamas' attack. He also said Hamas was not a terrorist organization but a liberation movement opposed to Israeli occupation of Palestinian land.

He called Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanhayu "unhinged" and blamed the Israeli government for the stalled hostage negotiations. He accused Israel of making excessive demands to compensate for its failure to meet its objectives in the war in Gaza.

"It has not been able to destroy Hamas or to arrest the leaders inside Gaza, has not been able to disarm Hamas, has not been able to destroy the weapons and equipment," Amirabdollahian said.

"Therefore it had to resort to killing women and children," he added, "and now at the negotiating table, they are trying to get what they could not get on the ground."

Still, the foreign minister said he hopes that a deal will be reached soon for the release of the hostages as part of a broad settlement. Hamas is "ready to go ahead with the release of the prisoners within the format of a humanitarian political package encompassing everything."

"I think now is a good time," he said. "There is a good chance for this."


jrDiscussion - desc
Professor Expert
1  sandy-2021492    one month ago

Good.  Iran can deliver an insult to save face, if that's what they feel they need to do.  So long as they keep their missiles to themselves.

Professor Quiet
1.1  Ed-NavDoc  replied to  sandy-2021492 @1    one month ago

Iran and their proxies have been pulling that kind of crap for decades. They shoot and scoot then try to play the victim while insulting their opponents afterwards to save face to the Iranian public. Iran knows full well they cannot go head to head militarily with Israel and it's Western Allies without getting their forces and infrastructure pretty much totally annihilated.

Drinker of the Wry
Junior Expert
2  Drinker of the Wry    one month ago

Iran learned several lessons over the last ten days:

  • They are unable to penetrate Israeli air space in any meaningful way
  • Israel can strike them anywhere and anytime at Israel’s choosing 
  • Israel can partner with Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Jordon to constrain Iran

Iranians celebrated their “great victory” in the streets while inflation and unemployment grow and the value of their currency falls.

Well done Persians, well done.

Sean Treacy
Professor Principal
2.1  Sean Treacy  replied to  Drinker of the Wry @2    one month ago

A devastating couple weeks for Iran's prestige.  They are left isolated and looking weak and incompetent. 

Drinker of the Wry
Junior Expert
3  Drinker of the Wry    one month ago

The House just passed four foreign aid bills approving funding for Ukraine, Taiwan, and Israel.

The 21st Century Peace through Strength Act, also includes more sanctions on Russia and Iran and regulations on TikTok.  It passed 360-58, the Senate will address next week.

Greg Jones
Professor Participates
4  Greg Jones    one month ago

I think we will see the Iranian people rise up an smite the ayatollahs and its Revolutionary Guard thugs within the next couple of years and toss the bastards out. The Iranians are too Westernized to put up with is repressive regime much longer.


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