Israel is still not revealing what its response will be to the Iranian attack with hundreds of missiles and drones last weekend, but there is little doubt that it will respond. For this reason, the president of Iran, Ebrahim Raisí, reiterated this Tuesday that any “minimum action” against his interests will receive a “tough, broad and painful response.” The Jewish State and the Islamic Republic continue to exchange warnings and reserve the right to counterattack.

The five-member Israeli war cabinet, headed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, did not meet again on Tuesday, after failing to reach an agreement on either Monday or Sunday on how and when to respond to Tehran. But one of its members, former Defense Minister Benny Gantz, stated in a conference organized by the newspaper Israel Hayom that “Israel will choose the time and place to respond (…) while working with the United States to build a regional alliance against Tehran.”

That alliance acted for the first time in the early hours of Sunday, when several countries cooperated with Israel and the United States to repel Iran’s attack with a multitude of ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and explosive drones, which would have put Israeli anti-aircraft defenses in trouble, if they would not have had the support of other partners. Among them, Jordan stands out, which intercepted and destroyed numerous projectiles aimed at Israel and which this Tuesday announced the increase in its air resources to defend its skies against a possible Israeli attack against Iran.

Also the Minister of Defense, Yoav Gallant, He stated that “the State of Israel will continue to act against any element that tries to sow terror throughout the Middle East,” which suggests that it could respond to Iran by hitting one of its allies in the area, such as the Lebanese Shiite group Hezbollah.

The Army reported this Tuesday that it has killed a brigade commander of that political and armed group in a bombardment against the vehicle in which he was traveling in the Ain Baal area, in southern Lebanon. For its part, Hezbollah announced that it has attacked the ‘Iron Dome’ air defense system in Beit Hillel, in northern Israel, with drones.

“Use of illegal force”

Amid the threats and crossfire, and the tension that has remained high since Sunday, independent experts from the United Nations Human Rights Council have warned that “retaliatory attacks violate state sovereignty and represent a dangerous escalation of conflict in a region that is already hanging by a thread.” The group of five experts has denounced in a statement that both Iran’s recent attack against Israel and Israel’s attack against the Iranian consulate in Damascus on April 1 contravene international law.

According to experts, Israel was not exercising its right to self-defense that day because it “did not present evidence that Iran was directly committing an armed attack against Israel or sending non-state armed groups to attack it.” The Israeli Army bombed the Iranian consulate in the Syrian capital and killed 13 people, six Syrian nationals and seven Iranians, all of them members of the Revolutionary Guard – including a high command of this powerful body of the Iranian Army that also operates outside from the country-.

“Illegal force was used not only against Iran’s armed forces but also against Syrian territory. “Israel’s attack was launched in part from the Golan Heights, which is illegally annexed Syrian territory,” added the experts, including the special rapporteur on human rights in Iran, Javaid Rehman. “It is a crime to violently attack the official premises or private accommodation of a diplomat and endanger them.”

According to the think tank, Iran’s response to the Israeli attack also constituted a “use of force prohibited under international law.” “Iran had no right to self-defense on April 13 because Israel’s attack concluded on April 1. Self-defense is only legal when it is necessary to stop a continuous armed attack,” they explained. And, likewise, Israel has no right to defend itself from the Saturday night attack because “the attack has been successfully repelled.”

“Forced reprisals, punishments or deterrence are illegal”

United Nations experts

“Forced reprisals, punishments or deterrence are illegal,” the experts have concluded, urging both parties to cease such actions that violate “the right to life.”

Diplomatic pressure and economic sanctions

In addition to a possible military response from Israel, Foreign Minister Israel Katz announced this Tuesday that he is “leading a diplomatic offensive against Iran.” The head of diplomacy stated that he has sent 32 letters to countries and has spoken with “dozens” of foreign ministers around the world urging that sanctions be imposed on Iran for its missile program and that the Revolutionary Guard be designated as “terrorist organization”. “Iran must be stopped now, before it is too late,” warned through his X account.

For her part, the US Secretary of the Treasury, Janet Yellen, announced this Tuesday that her Government and its allies will sanction Iran “in the coming days.” “We will take additional measures against Iran in the coming days,” Yellen said at a press conference in Washington, where the spring meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank (WB) are being held this week. The secretary plans to maintain contacts in both forums, attended by Economy and Finance Ministers from almost all over the world, to coordinate a new round of sanctions against Iran.

“We never give details of the sanctions before announcing them. But in the conversations I have had, all options to interrupt Iran’s terrorist financing remain on the table,” he stressed in statements collected by Agencia EFE. He vowed that Washington will employ sanctions and work with its allies to “continue to disrupt the Iranian regime’s malign and destabilizing activity.”

Also from the European Union (EU), the high representative for Foreign Policy, Josep Borrell, announced that his department is going to begin work to expand sanctions on Iran, after a meeting of the foreign ministers of the 27 held by videoconference this Tuesday in which several member states, including Germany, have requested it. “The objective is to expand the list of sanctions related to the drone regime of Iran and Russia in two directions,” explained Borrell, who referred to “the possibility of imposing sanctions on the production of missiles and not only drones, although in “At this time there is no evidence that Iran has given missiles to Russia to attack Ukraine.”

The other part has to do with the “geographical scope” of these restrictive measures: “This sanctions regime will also include the supply of material from Iran to its allies in the region, not only the supply of weapons to Russia.” The idea is to pursue the arrival of those weapons used by armed groups supported by Tehran in Iraq, Lebanon or Syria, among other places.

In the case of sanctions against the Revolutionary Guard, as requested by Tel Aviv, the head of European diplomacy said that the conditions are not met given that, previously, an EU authority must have corroborated “some national case in that it be proven that she has been involved in some terrorist action” and “at the moment, that is not the case.”

The high representative took advantage of his appearance to ask that the tension between Israel and Iran not divert attention from Gaza. “Let’s not forget what is happening in Gaza. There will never be lasting stability and peace in the region as long as the armed conflict in Gaza continues, and until the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is resolved,” Borrell stated. “We have to move away from the abyss. The region does not need a war as a whole, nor does the world, nor the people of Gaza. The war in Gaza will not stop and the suffering of the people will increase.”


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