update deskU.S.-Israel Relations

Biden said to tell Netanyahu US won’t support Israeli response to Iran attack

The U.S. president will convene G7 leaders to coordinate a "united diplomatic response" to the Iranian assault.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks with U.S. President Joe Biden about the Iranian attack on April 14, 2024. Credit: Prime Minister’s Spokesperson.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks with U.S. President Joe Biden about the Iranian attack on April 14, 2024. Credit: Prime Minister’s Spokesperson.

U.S. President Joe Biden told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a phone call on Saturday that Washington will not support an Israeli retaliatory attack for Iran’s drone and missile assault on the Jewish state, Axios reported, citing a senior White House official.

Iran fired more than 300 missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles from its territory toward Israel on Saturday night, in what Tehran says was retaliation for the April 1 killing of several IRGC officers in Syria by Israel.

The United States and other countries helped Israel shoot down the projectiles, which amounted to a 99% success rate, according to the IDF. American military forces intercepted over 100 airborne threats.

“You got a win. Take the win,” Biden told Netanyahu, according to the official, amid fears of a regional war should Jerusalem respond.

Netanyahu reportedly said he understood when Biden told him that the United States will not participate in offensive military operations against Tehran.

In a White House statement, Biden condemned the Iranian assault, which marked the first direct attack on Israel from Iranian territory.

“At my direction, to support the defense of Israel, the U.S. military moved aircraft and ballistic missile defense destroyers to the region over the course of the past week. Thanks to these deployments and the extraordinary skill of our servicemembers, we helped Israel take down nearly all of the incoming drones and missiles,” said Biden.

“I’ve just spoken with Prime Minister Netanyahu to reaffirm America’s ironclad commitment to the security of Israel. I told him that Israel demonstrated a remarkable capacity to defend against and defeat even unprecedented attacks—sending a clear message to its foes that they cannot effectively threaten the security of Israel.

“Tomorrow, I will convene my fellow G7 leaders to coordinate a united diplomatic response to Iran’s brazen attack. My team will engage with their counterparts across the region. And we will stay in close touch with Israel’s leaders.  And while we have not seen attacks on our forces or facilities today, we will remain vigilant to all threats and will not hesitate to take all necessary action to protect our people.”

Iran is threatening a larger attack if Israel responds militarily, while also warning the United States against further involvement.

“We used an attack with ballistic and cruise missiles. The operation was designed to attack the air base from which the Israeli planes that attacked the consulate [in Damascus] were launched. There were direct hits in the attack. We only targeted military bases,” said Mohammad Bakri, chief of staff of the Iranian Army.

“We sent a message to the U.S. that if it cooperates with Israel in the next steps, its bases will not be safe,” he added.

Iran’s mission to the United Nations said that the attack was in response to the targeting of the consulate in Damascus, even though Israel has not taken responsibility for the attack and reports suggest that the building hit was a local headquarters of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

“Should the Israeli regime make another mistake, Iran’s response will be considerably more severe. It is a conflict between Iran and the rogue Israeli regime, from which the U.S. MUST STAY AWAY!” Iran warned.

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