Iran attack on Israel ‘best way to punish aggressor’: Putin

The Cradle, April 16, 2024 —

The Iranian president reaffirmed to his Russian counterpart that his country will respond to future action against its interests with even greater force.

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, held a phone conference on 16 April to discuss the escalating conflict in West Asia.

The phone call was made at Raisi’s initiative, according to the Kremlin’s press release. The two heads of state “discussed in detail the situation in the Middle East, escalated by Israel’s air strike at the Iranian diplomatic mission in Damascus and Iran’s retaliation measures.”

“Vladimir Putin expressed hope that all sides will exercise sensible restraint and will not allow a new round of confrontation that may be fraught with disastrous consequences for the entire region,” the press statement read.

Earlier in April, Israel launched an attack on the Iranian consulate in Damascus, Syria, in which a senior commander in Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), Mohammad Reza Zahedi, was killed, among others. 

In response, Iran launched a massive retaliatory strike against Israel, which included the firing of dozens of ballistic and cruise missiles as well as a swarm of drones. 

Raisi said during the call with Putin that Iran’s launch of Operation True Promise was forced and limited in nature, noting that Tehran is not interested in escalating tensions in the region further.

The Iranian president also expressed his gratitude to Putin for Russia’s diplomatic efforts to defend Iran after Israel’s attack on the Iranian consulate in Syria.

“To those countries that have adopted double standards in the face of the crimes of the Zionist regime and express concerns about escalating tensions in the region, we advise them to rather stop supporting the Zionist’s genocide and crimes against the oppressed Palestinian people to preserve peace and stability in the region,” Raisi said.

Russia’s representative to the UN, Vassily Nebenzia, said Iran’s response was justified during a recent UN Security Council meeting, in that it “did not happen in a vacuum.”

Putin condemned the attack on the Iranian consulate, stating, “What the Islamic Republic of Iran did in response to that act that happened criminally and in light of the inaction of the Security Council was the best way to punish the aggressor and represented the tactfulness and rationality of Iran’s politicians.”

The Russian head of state also added that Moscow believes Tehran “is one of the main pillars of stability and security in the region.”

During the phone call, the two presidents exchanged views on the current state of Iran–Russia relations, both expressing their intentions to promote steady bilateral cooperation across multiple regions, including the implementation of “mutually beneficial infrastructure projects.”

Putin ended the call by congratulating Raisi and all Muslims of Iran on the holy day of Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of the month of Ramadan. 

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