New Delhi: Iran on Monday remarked that it “will not hesitate” to respond if the US attacks its territory with the White House declining to confirm whether strikes on the country were ruled out. This comes as White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, in a Sunday statement, emphasised the U.S. commitment to retaliate against Iran-backed groups operating in Iraq and Syria, according to news agency AFP.
When questioned about the possibility of direct strikes on Iran, Sullivan refrained from providing a clear answer, stating, “It would not be wise for me to talk about what we’re ruling in and ruling out.”
“If (Iran) chose to respond directly to the United States, they would be met with a swift and forceful response from us,” he remarked, as per AFP.
In a response on Monday, Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman, Nasser Kanani, asserted that Iran “will not hesitate to use its capabilities” to respond to any attacks on its territory. Kanani emphasised that the Islamic Republic has a history of reacting decisively to threats to its security, territorial integrity, and sovereignty. However, he reiterated that Iran does not seek to aggravate tensions and crises in the region, reported AFP.
Regional tensions have been on the rise since the outbreak of the Israel-Hamas war on October 7. The conflict has drawn in Iran-backed groups in Iraq, Syria, Yemen, and Lebanon. The US military said it carried out airstrikes against five missiles in Yemen on Sunday, AFP’s report stated.
As per information, the strikes came a day after US and UK forces launched a wave of air raids against Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthis — their third round of joint military action in response to the rebels’ persistent attacks on shipping.
However, the Houthis claim their attacks in the Red Sea are in solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza. The US military attacked targets in Syria and Iraq overnight on Friday to Saturday, in response to a January 28 drone attack on a base in Jordan that killed three US soldiers, the report mentioned.
Iran has strongly condemned the recent strikes in Yemen, Syria, and Iraq. President Joe Biden has attributed the attack in Jordan to “radical Iran-backed groups” but has emphasised that the United States does not seek a wider conflict in the Middle East, reported AFP.
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