Biden Urges Israel to Refrain From Retaliating After Iranian Attack

By Yoni Weiss

Israelis evaluating their home’s damage in the northern town of Katsrin, Golan Heights after the Iranian missile attack, on Sunday. (Michael Giladi/Flash90)

Following a significant drone and missile attack by Iran, President Joe Biden has advised Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu against retaliating, a senior administration official told NBC News. During a call on Sunday, Biden emphasized that while the U.S.’ commitment to Israel’s defense remains steadfast, Israel should avoid escalating tensions as the attack resulted in minimal damage and few casualties.

Biden’s cautionary advice arrives amid concerns from top U.S. officials that Israel might hastily respond to Iran’s aggression, potentially triggering wider regional conflicts. This advice was also influenced by reports suggesting Israel and its allies successfully intercepted 99% of the over 300 Iranian drones, cruise missiles, and ballistic missiles launched during the attack.

Further heightening the stakes, the chief of Iran’s armed forces has threatened an even more severe response should Israel retaliate, including possible attacks on US bases in the region.

In response to the growing tensions, Biden has scheduled a meeting with G7 leaders on Monday to discuss a coordinated diplomatic response, while the U.N. Security Council is also expected to convene.

Reaffirming the U.S.’ unwavering support for Israeli security, Biden nonetheless made it clear that the U.S. will not participate in any offensive operations against Iran and stressed the importance of restraint to prevent further escalation of the situation.

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