Secretary of State Antony Blinken warned that the U.S. would respond “strongly” if Iran or its allies attacked Americans. This is the strongest warning yet as the Biden administration seeks to deter Tehran from joining the war between Israel and Hamas.
“The United States does not seek conflict with Iran,” Blinken told a U.N. Security Council meeting on Tuesday. “We don’t want this war to expand. But if Iran or its proxies attack U.S. personnel anywhere, make no mistake: We will defend our people, we will defend our security, quickly and decisively.”
Blinken also called on other members of the 15-member Security Council, including Russia and China, to order Iran not to open another front against Israel or attack its partners and to hold them accountable if they do.
“To all members of this Council: If you, like the United States, want to prevent the spread of this conflict, tell Iran, tell its proxies – publicly, privately, by any means – and do not open another front against Israel .” This conflict. Don’t attack Israel’s partners.”
Blinken’s comments were the latest in an intensified U.S. embassy campaign to draw attention to Iran’s alleged involvement in violence against U.S. forces in the region, as well as its support for Hezbollah militants in Lebanon, who have launched rocket attacks on Israel in recent days have started. On Monday, the US said it would blame Iran for a spate of drone and missile attacks on US forces in the region.
In a phone call with French President Emmanuel Macron on October 15, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi warned that the conflict could expand if Israel does not stop what he called its crimes, “including the killing of people and the siege of Gaza.” . according to the semi-official Tasnim news agency.
It’s a complicated move for the Biden administration, which is sending more troops to the Middle East, including two aircraft carrier groups, additional fighter jets and missile defense systems. The US says these moves are aimed at making adversaries like Iran think twice before joining the conflict. But they have also raised fears that the US will create the outcome it seeks to avoid by expanding its presence in a volatile situation.
According to Palestinian authorities, Hamas militants killed about 1,400 people and took more than 200 hostages in an attack on Israel on October 7. Israeli forces responded with airstrikes that killed more than 5,000 people.
Israel has vowed to permanently destroy Hamas – designated a terrorist organization by the United States and the European Union – through a ground campaign in Gaza. But the United States, its allies and adversaries have all expressed concerns that such a military move could serve as a catalyst for others to enter the conflict.
Blinken also called for restraint in his remarks on Tuesday. He said Israel has the right to defend itself, but “the way in which it does so is important.”
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