Israel Hits Central Iran In Apparently Limited Retaliatory Strike


Israel Hits Central Iran In Apparently Limited Retaliatory Strike | Washington Post 

The Israeli military carried out strikes inside Iran early Friday, an Israeli official said, in retaliation for an Iranian barrage of missiles and drones launched last Saturday, but the scope appeared limited. It was not clear what damage the attack caused, but the official — speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive military matters — said it was intended to send a message to Iran that Israel had the ability to strike inside the country. After weeks of soaring tensions following Israel’s deadly strike on an Iranian diplomatic compound in Damascus and Tehran’s answering attack on Israeli territory, Friday’s limited action appeared to many experts as attempt by both sides to de-escalate the situation.  

Biden Imposes New Sanctions On Iran After Drone And Missile Attack On Israel | NBC News 

The Biden administration announced new sanctions Thursday targeting Iran’s missile and drone program after its attack on Israel last weekend. President Joe Biden said in a statement that the sanctions speak to the commitment he and fellow leaders of the Group of Seven leading industrialized nations made to collectively ramp up economic pressure on the Iranian government. Biden also noted that U.S. allies were issuing additional sanctions and measures in an effort to curtail Iran’s destabilizing military programs. The United Kingdom announced sanctions Thursday against Iranian military figures and organizations, and European Union leaders also said this week that they would increase sanctions against Iran. “Let it be clear to all those who enable or support Iran’s attacks: The United States is committed to Israel’s security,” Biden said. “We are committed to the security of our personnel and partners in the region. And we will not hesitate to take all necessary action to hold you accountable.”  

Iran Threatens To Work On Nuclear Arms If Israel Attacks Nuclear Sites | Wall Street Journal 

A senior Iranian official warned Thursday that Iran could work on building nuclear weapons if Israel attacks its nuclear facilities, the latest escalation in threats issued by the two sides amid heightened tensions in the Middle East. The comments follow Iran’s aerial attack on Israel last weekend. Israeli officials have said they intend to respond to Tehran’s missile-and-drone barrage. Brigadier General Ahmad Haghtalab, the commander for security of Iran’s nuclear facilities, said Iran could change its nuclear policies—a reference to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s longstanding public pledge not to build nuclear weapons. Haghtalab, a top figure in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps—the paramilitary force that dominates military and defense policy under Khamenei—warned that Iran would retaliate against Israeli nuclear sites if Israel hits Iran’s nuclear facilities. Israel is widely believed to have nuclear weapons but has never confirmed that.  


Biden Admin Under Pressure To Freeze UN Funding As International Body Boosts Iran | Washington Free Beacon 

…The AAF and its network of allies are also pressing the Biden administration to revoke an American entrance visa that was recently granted to Iranian foreign minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian. Iran's top diplomat is scheduled to be in New York City this week for a series of U.N. meetings centered on Israel's ongoing conflict with Hamas. The AAF-led coalition joins other advocacy groups and Republicans, such as United Against a Nuclear Iran and Sen. James Lankford (R., Okla.), in calling for Amir-Abdollahian's visa to be revoked. "This visit marks the third time that the Iranian Foreign Minister will travel to the United States since Hamas' Iranian-guided attack on Israel on October 7th," the AAF wrote in a separate letter to the White House, sent Thursday. "Meantime, Iranian-backed Hezbollah continues to hurl rockets into Israel, Iranian-backed Houthis continue to blockade the Red Sea, sabotaging international trade routes, and Iran just launched an unprecedented attack on Israel."  

Joe Biden Has Allowed Iran To 'Get Away With Murder' Expert Claims In Furious Outburst | Daily Express 

…The Biden administration's policies in the Middle East has been a "complete failure," as Israel edges closer to launching a strike to Iran in retaliation to the regime's missile and drone strikes on April 1, an expert says. Kasra Aarabi, a director of research on the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) at United Against Nuclear Iran, told the US Sun that Biden has allowed Iran to "get away with murder without facing any consequences." 

MSC Assures Safety Of 25 Crew Members Onboard Cargo Ship MSC Aries Seized By Iran | Marine Insight 

…Iran has also captured several vessels in international seas in recent years, increasing the risks for merchant ships in the region. The Niovi, Advantage Sweet, and St Nikolas tankers, which were captured last year, were anchored in Iranian seas as of 12 April, according to Claire Jungman, the chief of staff at United Against Nuclear Iran, a US advocacy group that monitors Iran-related tanker movements via satellite data. Iran’s foreign ministry reported on Monday that the MSC Aries was captured for violating maritime laws and that the vessel was undoubtedly related to Israel. MSC charters the Aries from Gortal Shipping, a Zodiac Maritime subsidiary.  


IAEA Chief Says Iran Could Produce A Nuclear Weapon 'Within Months' | NBC News 

Rafael Grossi, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, spoke with Sky News' Wilfred Frost in the wake of Israel's strike on Isfahan. “Sky News Today with Wilfred Frost” streams live daily at 5 a.m. ET on NBC News NOW. 

Israel Carries Out Strike In Iran, Israeli Official Says; No Damage To Nuclear Sites, IAEA Says | Washington Post

The Israeli military carried out a strike inside Iran in retaliation for a barrage of missiles and drones launched last weekend, an Israeli official said Friday. It was not clear what damage the apparently limited strike caused, but the official — who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive military matters — said it was intended to signal to Iran that Israel had the ability to strike inside the country… There was no damage to Iran’s nuclear sites, including those in Isfahan, the International Atomic Energy Agency said Friday morning. Isfahan is the site of Iran’s largest nuclear research complex; the area is home to a military base. Iranian state media said air defenses intercepted “three small drones” in Isfahan province in central Iran.  


US And UK Issue New Sanctions On Iran In Response To Tehran’s Weekend Attack On Israel | Associated Press 

The U.S. and U.K. on Thursday imposed a new round of sanctions on Iran as concern grows that Tehran’s unprecedented attack on Israel could fuel a wider war in the Middle East. The sanctions are meant to hold Iran accountable for its weekend attack and to deter further such activity. But the practical impact is likely to be limited because many of the targeted companies already were subject to U.S. sanctions and the individuals singled out for new sanctions are unlikely to have assets in U.S. jurisdictions. Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control targeted 16 people and two entities in Iran that produce engines that power the drones used in the April 13 attack on Israel. OFAC also sanctioned five firms involved in steel production and three subsidiaries of Iranian automaker Bahman Group — which is accused of materially supporting Iran’s military and other sanctioned groups. A representative from Bahman was not immediately available for comment.  

Oil Price Rises As US Says Israel Has Struck Iran | BBC 

Oil and gold prices have jumped after US officials said an Israeli missile had struck Iran. Brent crude, the international benchmark, rose to over $90 a barrel after reports emerged of an attack by Israel, before falling back when Iran sought to downplay the significance. Gold briefly came close to a record high before settling below $2,400 an ounce. There are concerns a worsening conflict in the Middle East could disrupt oil supplies. Investors have been closely watching Israel’s reaction to Iran's direct drone and missile attack last weekend. Oil prices had jumped by as much as 3.5% initially. But Brent then fell back to $87 a barrel after Iranian state media claimed that there was "no damage" in Isfahan province where there had been reports of explosions. Sharp and sustained rises in oil prices risk fuelling inflation. Countries are heavily reliant on the commodity, which is used to produce fuels such as petrol and diesel. Fuel and energy prices have been a major driver behind the higher cost of living worldwide in the past couple of years.  


Some Iranian Women Say They Fear War With Israel Amid Violent Hijab Crackdown | ABC News 

In the wake of Iran's unprecedented airstrikes on Israel, dozens of Iranians gathered in Tehran's Palestine Square earlier this week to celebrate what the Iranian regime described as a retaliatory attack. But interviews with women on the ground indicate that the scene, broadcast by Iranian state-run media in a country that lacks a free press, is not representative of how many other Iranians -- particularly women -- are feeling as Israel weighs its response. ABC News spoke to several women in Iran who said the fear of an imminent war has been added to a long list of worries and hardships they have been grappling with for years. Their names have been changed due to concerns for their safety. "The fear of the war is so crippling," Ramesh, a 30-year-old designer and architect, told ABC News via telephone on Wednesday. "And imagine on top of that is the anxiety of getting arrested by the hijab police and the stress of not being able to afford the rent for our flat every single month."  


Iran Fires Air Defense Batteries In Provinces As Sound Of Explosions Heard Near Isfahan | Associated Press 

Iran fired air defense batteries early Friday morning after reports of explosions near the city of Isfahan, the state-run IRNA news agency reported. It remained unclear if the country was under attack. However, tensions remain high in the wider Middle East after Iran’s unprecedented missile-and-drone attack on Israel. One government official suggested sites may have been targeted by drones. The Israeli military did not immediately respond to a request for comment. IRNA said the defenses fired across several provinces. It did not elaborate on what caused the batteries to fire, though people across the area reported hearing the sounds. The semiofficial Fars and Tasnim news agencies reported the sound of blasts, without giving a cause. State television acknowledged “loud noise” in the area. Isfahan is home to a major airbase for the Iranian military, as well as sites associated with its nuclear program.  

Iranian State TV Reports Explosions In Central Iran | Axios 

Iranian state TV reported explosions near the city of Isfahan in central Iran early Friday morning local time. Why it matters: Israel, which has not confirmed it launched an attack, has vowed to retaliate against Iran for a missile and drone attack on Israel. The U.S. is concerned that continued counterattacks could trigger wider regional escalation. An aide to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declined to comment. The Biden administration has warned Israel that escalation with Iran wouldn't serve U.S. or Israeli interests and urged Israel to "be careful" with any retaliation, U.S. officials said. The latest: Fars news agency, which is affiliated with the IRGC, reported explosions were heard in the city of Isfahan in central Iran near an Iranian air force base. Iran issued a notification early Friday morning local time closing the air space over western parts of the country.  

CIA Director: Iranian Attack On Israel Was A 'Spectacular Failure' | NBC News 

Iran’s missile and drone barrage against Israel last weekend “turned out to be a spectacular failure,” with nearly all of the projectiles failing to hit Israel, CIA Director William Burns said Thursday. Speaking at an event at the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas, Burns said that the thwarting of the missile and drone assault showed the strength of Israel’s military and that it had “friends” in the world, including the U.S. and other countries that helped, as well. “The Iranians fired off something like 330 drones and missiles combined,” Burns said. “Of those 330 missiles, only four or five actually impacted in Israel, and none of them did any significant damage. “It’s a reminder of the quality of the Israeli military,” he added. “It’s a reminder of the fact that the Israelis have friends starting with the United States, but others, as well.”  


These Are The 14 Lawmakers Who Voted Against Condemning Iran’s Attack On Israel | The Hill 

An overwhelming majority of the House voted Thursday on a resolution to condemn Iran’s recent attack on Israel. However, 14 members voted against the resolution: 13 Democrats and one Republican. The group of Democrats includes “squad” members Reps. Jamaal Bowman (N.Y.) and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.), while Rep. Thomas Massie (Ky.) was the lone Republican to vote against the resolution. Last weekend, Iran launched more than 300 missiles and drones on Israel, but Israeli and allied forces were able to shoot down most of them.  


After Iran’s Attack On Israel, Now Fears Over Escalation At Lebanese Border | Washington Post 

The Iranian strike on Israel over the weekend has refocused attention on the border with Lebanon where Iran’s ally, Hezbollah, has long been fighting a muted war that could be the target of an Israeli retaliation. The Israel Defense Forces and Hezbollah, both a military force and Lebanon’s strongest political party, have been regularly skirmishing since Hamas’s Oct. 7 blitz into Israel. Attacks have ebbed and flowed as the war in Gaza dragged on, punctuated by U.S. stabs at negotiating a diplomatic solution to resolve long-standing security issues. But the unprecedented direct Iranian attack on Israel Saturday could upset the delicate balance of tit-for-tat attacks, with recent incidents suggesting that the way could be open for a long threatened Israeli assault. It is an assault Hezbollah appears not to want, as evidenced by its delayed statement extending congratulations on the Iranian attack — which it, significantly, did not participate in.  

Hezbollah Leader Warns Israel Will Pay 'A High Price' If Iran Is Attacked | NBC News 

Hezbollah's Deputy Secretary-General Naim Qassem tells NBC News' Matt Bradley Israel will "pay a high price" if they retaliate against Iran's recent aerial attacks. 


Reaction To Israel's Military Response To Iran's Attack On Israel | Reuters 

Israel carried out an attack on Iranian soil on Friday, sources said, days after Iran struck Israel with a barrage of drones and missiles. Here are reactions to the Israeli military response, from official statements and postings on social media: EUROPEAN COMMISSION PRESIDENT URSULA VON DER LEYEN: "It is absolutely necessary that the region remains stable and that all sides restrain from further action." BRITISH PRIME MINISTER RISHI SUNAK: "Significant escalation is not in anyone's interest. What we want to see is calm heads prevail across the region." DEPUTY FRENCH FOREIGN MINISTER JEAN-NOEL BARROT: "All I can say is that France's position is to call on all actors for de-escalation and restraint." BEN SAUL, U.N. SPECIAL RAPPORTEUR ON COUNTERTERRORISM AND HUMAN RIGHTS: "Israel's latest strikes on Iran are another violation of the prohibition on the use of military force under international law & the UN Charter, and threaten the human right to life."