Israel calls for fresh sanctions on Iran during UNSC meeting

Israel Ambassador Gilad Erdan. Photo Courtesy:  Ambassador Gilad Erdan X page

Amid further escalation of tension over missiles and drone attacks carried out on Israel, the country’s official called for fresh sanctions on Iran during a meeting of the UN security council.

According to media reports, Israel’s UN envoy Gilad Erdan has asked the council to impose all ‘possible sanctions’ on Iran.

Gilad Erdan said Saturday night’s attacks had been launched from Iranian soil, as well as Lebanon, Syria, Yemen and Iraq.  

“Last night the world witnessed an unprecedented escalation that is clear proof of what can happen when warnings are ignored … [Israel] was not crying wolf; it was trying to wake the world up to the dangers posed by Iran and Its proxies,” he said, adding: “Israel has been sounding the alarm bells.”

Israel’s representative showed a video of what he called an attack on the Temple Mount, and asked the Security Council: “What have you done to protect the world from Iran?”

He said that Iran’s actions had long been clear, to arm, fund and train its terror proxies across the globe. But the mask of deniability has been removed: Iran had attacked Israel from its own territory; and Israel was surrounded by Iran’s proxies and being attacked on all fronts.

“The mask has come off and so the world’s complacency must also fall. The only option is to condemn Iran…and ensure that it knows that the world will no longer stand idle.”  

“This attack crossed every red line and Israel reserves the right to retaliate,” he stated.

What did Iranian official say during the meeting?

While emphasising that Israel’s “false and unsubstantiated claims” deserved “no real response”, Iranian Ambassador Amir Saed Iravani reiterated Iran’s consistent position that it does not seek escalation or war in the region.  

“Iran’s operation was entirely in the exercise of Iran’s inherent right to self-defence. This concluded action was necessary and proportionate. It was precise and only targeted military objectives and carried out carefully to minimise the potential for escalation and prevent civilian harm,” the Ambassador explained.

Yet, it was regrettable, he said, that today certain Council members, including the US, the UK, and France had chosen to “turn a blind eye to reality” and overlook the root causes contributing to the current situation.  

“In hypocritical behaviour, these three countries falsely blamed and accused Iran without considering their own failures to uphold their international commitments to peace and security in the region,” said Ambassador Iravani, calling out what he saw as “lies and disinformation” being used to discredit Iran’s right to self-defence.

Moreover, the Council’s inaction faced with “Israeli war crimes against the Palestinian people has only emboldened this regime to continue its violations unchecked”, he said, adding that the US and its allies blocked the Security Council on Gaza for over six months, protecting Israel from accountability.

“While warning about any further military provocations by the Israeli regime, the Islamic Republic of Iran reaffirms its unwavering determination to defend its people, national security and interests… [we] will not hesitate to exercise this right when required,” he explained.

US Deputy Ambassador Robert Wood condemns attack on Israel

US Deputy Ambassador Robert Wood strongly condemned “the unprecedented attack on the State of Israel by the Islamic Republic of Iran and its militant proxies and partners”, and said, “Iran’s intent was to cause significant damage and death in Israel.”

“Iran’s reckless actions not only posed a threat to populations in Israel, but also to other UN Member States in the region, including Jordan and Iraq,” he said and added: “The Security Council has an obligation to not let Iran’s actions go unanswered.”

“Indeed, for far too long Iran has flagrantly violated its international legal obligations, notably through the actions of its Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps or IRGC,” he continued and noted: “Iran also was, in a broad sense, complicit in the October 7 attack on Israel because it has provided significant funding and training for the military wing of Hamas.”

“In the coming days, and in consultation with other member states, the United States will explore additional measures to hold Iran accountable here at the United Nations,” said Wood.

States or further action against Israel, Iran will be held responsible,” he said, and stressed: “The United States is not seeking escalation. Our actions have been purely defensive in nature.”

US won’t participate in  any Israeli counteroffensive against Iran

US President Joe Biden has told Israel PM Benjamin Netanyahu that the United States would not participate in any Israeli counteroffensive against Iran, a senior administration official told The Times of Israel.

What did the war cabinet of Israel decide?

Israel’s five-person war cabinet could not reach a conclusion on how the country would respond to Iran’s massive missile and drone barrage.

What happened on Saturday night?

Iran launched over 300 drones and missiles at Israel as its proxies and allies also carried out coordinated attacks on Israeli positions, media reports said.

Iran insisted it acted in “self-defence” after the targeting of its diplomatic mission in Damascus.

How Israel intercepted aerial threats?

IDF Spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari was quoted as saying by The Times of Israel that Iran launched more than 300 projectiles at Israel, comprising 170 drones, 30 cruise missiles, and 120 ballistic missiles, and that 99 percent of them had been intercepted by air defences.

“This is a very significant strategic achievement,” he said in a morning press statement as quoted by the newspaper.

“The Iranian threat met the aerial and technological superiority of the IDF, combined with a strong fighting coalition, which together intercepted the vast majority of the threats,” Hagari said.

All 170 drones and 30 cruise missiles were downed outside of the country’s borders by the Israeli Air Force and its allies, he said.

He said none of the missiles or drones could cross and enter Israeli airspace.

Israeli defence minister, Yoav Gallant, earlier said the successful interception against the attack by the country’s air force and several allies was an opportunity for a new “strategic alliance” against Iran, reported The Guardian.