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20 Apr, 2024 12:57

Iran targeted with ‘children’s toys’ – FM

Tehran’s top diplomat has refused to blame Israel for Friday’s attack on the country
Iran targeted with ‘children’s toys’ – FM

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian has downplayed the significance of Friday’s drone attack on the country, saying that it was minor in scale and involved primitive hardware.

The claims by some media outlets that explosions in the skies above the Iranian city of Isfahan, which hosts a major airbase, were a retaliatory strike by Israel are “not accurate,” Amirabdollahian said in an interview with NBC News on Saturday.

“What happened last night was not a strike,” he insisted, adding that the attack involved just two or three small UAVs, which “were more like toys that our children play with, not drones.” 

The UAVs “took off from inside Iran, flew for a hundred meters and then they were struck by our air defense,” the minister added.

Israel, which typically neither confirms nor denies operations on foreign soil, declined to comment on whether it was involved in the Isfahan attack.

According to the Iranian foreign minister, Tehran is not planning any further actions against Israel.

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

However, if the Israeli authorities continue taking provocative steps, “our response will be immediate and to the maximum and will cause them to regret it,” Amirabdollahian warned.

In early April, a strike on the Iranian consulate in Damascus, Syria, which Tehran blamed on Israel, left two generals and several other senior officers dead.

Tehran struck back last week by firing several hundred missiles and drones at military targets inside Israel. While Iranian officials dubbed the operation a “success,” the IDF claimed that most of the incoming munitions were shot down.

Israel promised payback for the attack, while the US declared that it doesn’t want to see the conflict escalate. US President Joe Biden also reportedly urged Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to show restraint in an effort to avoid a further military escalation.

The attack on Israeli territory was intended as “a warning,” Amirabdollahian said. “We could have hit Haifa and Tel Aviv,” but didn’t do so because targeting civilians is a “red line” for Tehran, he added.

Israel blames Iran for what it claims is its involvement in the Hamas attack on October 7, in which at least 1,200 were killed and 250 taken hostage. Tehran doesn’t deny having contacts with Hamas, but insists that it had no prior knowledge of the raid.

The death toll from Israel’s airstrikes and ground offensive in Gaza over the past six months has surpassed 34,000, according to the enclave’s health ministry.