Iran sent clear message to US on Middle East escalation, top official says

New York, New York - Iran's top diplomat said Thursday his country has told the US that it is not seeking escalation after last week's retaliatory attack on Israel.

Iran has reportedly told the US that it is not looking for an escalation of the Middle East conflict after last week's retaliatory strike on Israel.
Iran has reportedly told the US that it is not looking for an escalation of the Middle East conflict after last week's retaliatory strike on Israel.  © ATTA KENARE / AFP

The Islamic republic carried out its first-ever direct attack on Israel, firing drones and missiles on the weekend. The barrage – to which Israel's army chief has vowed a response – was a reponse to an April 1 air strike attributed to Israel on Tehran's consulate in Damascus.

Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, who is in New York to attend a UN Security Council meeting on Palestinian statehood, said his country has "tried to tell the United States clearly" that Iran is "not looking for the expansion of tension in the region," he said in a video posted by his ministry.

Iran and the US have had no diplomatic relations since 1980, but neutral Switzerland represents Washington's interests in Iran. Both the US and Iran have alluded to the Swiss role as an intermediary.

Netanyahu claims Israeli strike on Rafah displacement camp was a "tragic accident"
Israel-Gaza War Netanyahu claims Israeli strike on Rafah displacement camp was a "tragic accident"

According to Amir-Abdollahian, Iran communicated with Washington "before and after" launching its attack on Israel.

Iran informed the US that the decision by the Islamic Republic of Iran to "respond to the (Israel) regime is final," and the matter concluded, he said.

Iran promised not to target US bases

Iran's retaliation against Israel left a girl severely wounded but caused little damage. It followed the strike in Damascus that killed seven members of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, including two generals.

"Before the operation, we clearly told the American side that we will not target American bases and interests in the region," Amir-Abdollahian said.

The Biden administration has said it would soon impose new sanctions on Iran's missile and drone program following the attack.

The US and other allies helped Israel intercept the Iranian attack.

Cover photo: ATTA KENARE / AFP

More on Israel-Gaza War: