Western leaders pressure Jerusalem against counterattack

A majority of Israel’s War Cabinet recommended retaliating, although it was divided on the scope and timing of the response.

By JNS

Western governments, including that of the United States, are calling on Israel to refrain from retaliating against Iran and its proxies, fearing a regional war.

French President Emmanuel Macron said the international community should do “everything we can to avoid a flare-up.”

He said he would attempt to convince Israel “that it should not respond by escalating, but rather by isolating Iran.”

Foreign Secretary David Cameron said the United Kingdom would not take part in any military action against Iran, telling the BBC on Monday, “We’re saying very strongly that we don’t support a retaliatory strike. We don’t think they should make one.”

An emergency session of the United Nations Security Council on Sunday appeared to backfire on Israel, which had requested the meeting, as members urged all parties to act with restraint and failed to issue a condemnation of Iran.

U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres told the council that the parties should “step back from the brink.”

Russia and Iran took the opportunity to accuse council members calling for de-escalation as hypocritical, blaming the U.S., France and the U.K. for blocking an earlier Russian-produced Security Council statement condemning an airstrike attributed to Israel that killed an Iranian general on April 1.

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Israel’s Kan News reported that Group of Seven (G7) leaders, meeting on Sunday, agreed to use “all channels of influence” to prevent Israel from attacking Iran.

On Sunday, Israel’s War Cabinet recommended retaliating, although it was divided on the scope and timing of the response. The War Cabinet is meeting again on Monday.

U.S. and other Western officials expect Israel to respond quickly to the Iranian attack, “as soon as Monday,” The Wall Street Journal reported.

President Joe Biden reportedly told Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday that Washington would not support an Israeli retaliatory attack.

“You got a win. Take the win,” Biden told Netanyahu, according to an official, referring to the successful interception of nearly all of Iran’s missiles and drones that were launched against Israel.

Iran has been attempting to stymie retaliation by Israel. On Monday, it said Western countries should “appreciate Iran’s restraint in recent months.”

On Sunday, IRGC Maj. Gen. Mohammad Bagheri, chief of staff of the Armed Forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran, declared Saturday night’s aerial attack a success, adding that it is “over and there is no intention to continue it.”