A prominent Iranian official warned Israel not to conduct a military operation against Iran, as the rival Middle Eastern powers trade threats following an attack on an Israeli-managed oil tanker.
“We state this clearly: ANY foolish act against Iran will be met with a DECISIVE response,” Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh tweeted on Thursday. “Don’t test us.”
Khatibzadeh accused the Israeli government of violating international law by threatening “military action” against Iran. Israeli officials have urged the United Nations Security Council member-states to support “diplomatic, economic, and even military deeds” in response to an attack last week that killed two civilians on the Mercer Street tanker while it sailed in international waters.
“We can’t tag Iran as solely an Israeli problem and absolve the rest of the world from this issue,” Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz told Israeli media.
Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid argued that point to a group of ambassadors from the UNSC in a Wednesday meeting focused on Iran.
“This is an international crime. So my question to you is, [referring to the ambassadors]: What is the international community going to do about it? Is there still such a thing as international law? And does the world have the ability and willpower to enforce the law?” Lapid said. “If the answer is ‘Yes,’ the world should act now. If the international community does not respond in this attack, then there is no such thing as an international community. Instead, it will be, ‘Every man for himself.’”
Gantz, who joined Lapid at the meeting, accused a specific Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps commander of orchestrating the so-called “suicide drone” operation that reportedly struck Mercer Street last week.
“The UAV command conducted the attack on Mercer Street,” Gantz said.
British officials also have demanded the UN Security Council “respond to Iran’s destabilizing actions & lack of respect for international law,” while Secretary of State Antony Blinken has said a “collective response” is being planned, although the details of that promised response have not been shared.
“We have been working very, very closely with our partners — with the UK and others on the Security Council — to address this issue,” U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield told MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell in a Thursday interview. “I’ve engaged with my Israeli colleague, as well. And we will do the necessary to ensure that there is accountability on this, and that Iran is identified and dealt with in the Security Council. The efforts are continuing as I speak, but I can assure you we are working assiduously on moving this discussion forward.”
“We also know how to act alone,” Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said Thursday. “The Iranians need to understand that it is impossible to sit peacefully in Tehran and, from there, ignite the entire Middle East. That is over.”
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Original Author: Joel Gehrke
Original Location: ‘Don’t test us’: Iran threatens ‘decisive’ response to any Israeli strike