Iran's Raisi calls first direct attack on Israel 'legitimate defense'

Iran's President Ebrahim Raisi. (Photo/AP)

Iran's President Ebrahim Raisi has described his country's attack on Israel as "legitimate defence" and a "natural right" in response to attacks on Iranian interests.

In a statement on Sunday after the country's Revolutionary Guard (IRGC) launched a barrage of missiles and drones at Israel, the Iranian president said the measure was "within the framework of Iran's inherent right to legitimate defence."

He was referring to April 1 attack on the Iranian consulate building in Damascus, which resulted in the killing of seven Iranian military officials, including a senior IRGC commander for Syria and Lebanon.

Iranian officials blamed the attack on Israel and vowed "definitive retaliation."

The military operation against Israel just before midnight on Saturday came two weeks after the attack on the Iranian consulate, inflaming tensions.

Raisi said Iranian armed forces "taught a lesson" to Israel, and warned that any "reckless response" from Israel would be met with a "stronger and harsher response."

Region on edge

The president stressed that Saturday's operation came in the context of "defending Iran's sovereignty and national interests, punishing the enemies, and enhancing regional security."

He described the military operation that lasted several hours as "smart and calculated," noting that the drones and missiles launched by IRGC targeted Israeli military installations.

Meanwhile, Iran's Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian in a post on X said exercising the "right to legitimate defense" shows Iran's "responsible approach to regional and international peace and security."

"At this point, the Islamic Republic of Iran has no intention of continuing defensive operations, but if necessary, it will not hesitate to protect its legitimate interests against any new aggression," he wrote.

Many countries had urged Iran to exercise restraint and abandon the planned retaliatory military action, but Iranian officials invoked the country's inherent right to self-defense under UN Charter for the operation.

Countries such as the US, UK, France and Germany condemned the strikes in separate statements on Sunday, following which Iran's foreign ministry summoned their ambassadors in Tehran to lodge a protest.

Meanwhile, speculation is rife that Israel might retaliate against Saturday night's strikes, which experts believe has the potential to trigger an all-out regional war.


Source: TRT