Netanyahu Says Israel Will Make Its Own Decisions in Response to Iran’s Attack


Vedant Patel, a State Department spokesman, said at a news conference in Washington on Wednesday that the United States was pushing for a “unified diplomatic response” to the Iranian attack and was urging Israel to avoid “further escalation.” But he added, “These decisions are for Israel to make as a sovereign, democratic country.”

Israel’s war cabinet has met several times since the weekend to discuss when and how to respond to Iran’s barrage of ballistic missiles and exploding drones, almost all of which were intercepted by Israel’s air defenses, supported by the United States, Britain, France and Jordan.

Israeli officials are said to be considering a range of options, from a direct strike on Iran to a strike on an Iranian target, such as an Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps base, in a country other than Iran, to a cyberattack or assassinations, trying to send a clear message to Tehran while not starting a major escalation.

“Israel will respond when it sees fit,” an Israeli official said on Wednesday, adding that it had “multiple ways” to do so. The official spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss military strategy.

Iranian leaders have warned that the country will react forcefully to any Israeli strike. “We will respond with more deadly weapons,” the Iranian army’s commander in chief, Maj. Gen. Abdolrahim Mousavi, said on Wednesday.

Iran said it had attacked Israel in response to an April 1 airstrike on a diplomatic compound in Syria, which killed at least three senior Iranian commanders and four officers overseeing Iran’s covert operations in the Middle East.

Ms. Baerbock said it was critical to prevent “the highly dangerous situation in the Middle East from turning into a regional conflagration,” the German news outlet Deutsche Presse-Agentur reported.

“As the G7, we speak with one voice,” Ms. Baerbock said after arriving in Italy on Wednesday for a meeting of foreign ministers of the Group of 7 nations. “All players in the region are called upon to exercise maximum restraint.”

Mr. Cameron said that the Group of 7, which includes the United States as well as Britain and Germany, should work together to punish Iran with sanctions. U.S. and European officials said on Tuesday that they were considering placing additional sanctions on Iran that could target its oil revenue and weapons programs.

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