newsIsrael at War

Blinken to Gantz: US does not want to see escalation with Iran

Blinken told a group of American Jewish leaders that a major conflict between Jerusalem and Tehran was not in the interests of the United States.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken meets with Israeli politician Benny Gantz at the State Department on the latter's personal visit to Washington on March 5, 2024. Credit: Chuck Kennedy/U.S. State Department.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken meets with Israeli politician Benny Gantz at the State Department on the latter's personal visit to Washington on March 5, 2024. Credit: Chuck Kennedy/U.S. State Department.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Tuesday told Israeli War Cabinet Minister Benny Gantz that the Biden administration wants to prevent any further escalation in the Middle East.

Blinken has conveyed to Gantz “the same messages in all of his conversations, which is we do not want to see further escalation of the conflict,” said State Department Spokesman Matthew Miller.

Miller noted that the War Cabinet was mulling several possible responses to Iran’s massive drone and missile attack against the Jewish state over the weekend.

“Obviously, these are their sovereign decisions, but we have been clear that we are committed to Israel’s defense. But we do want to see, as you’ve heard multiple members of the administration say, no escalation of this conflict,” added Miller.

Also Tuesday, Blinken told a group of American Jewish leaders that a major conflict between Jerusalem and Tehran was not in the interests of the United States, according to an Axios report citing three people who attended the meeting.

Blinken nevertheless stopped short of saying that Israel should refrain from responding to Iran.

“His message was: be [as] smart, strategic and limited as possible,” one attendee said.

A senior U.S. official told Axios that Washington’s assessment is that the Islamic Republic would respond to an Israeli strike on Iranian soil with a new round of attacks.

“We think it will be very hard to replicate the huge success we had on Saturday with defeating the attack if Iran launches hundreds of missiles and drones again—and the Israelis know it,” another U.S. official said.

Overnight Monday, U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin spoke with his Israeli counterpart Yoav Gallant to reinforce the importance of upholding regional stability.

U.S. President Joe Biden reportedly told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that Washington will not support an Israeli retaliatory attack.

Other western governments have called on Israel to refrain from retaliating against Iran and its proxies, fearing a regional war.

Israel’s War Cabinet is in the process of deciding on a “painful” response to the Islamic Republic, with Netanyahu insisting on Tuesday that Jerusalem is determined to achieve victory over its enemies in “all sectors.”

IDF Spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari said on Tuesday that the military will respond to Iran’s unprecedented aerial assault “at the time and place of our choosing.”

You have read 3 articles this month.
Register to receive full access to JNS.

Just before you scroll on...

Israel is at war.

JNS is combating the stream of misinformation on Israel with real, honest and factual reporting. In order to deliver this in-depth, unbiased coverage of Israel and the Jewish world, we rely on readers like you.

The support you provide allows our journalists to deliver the truth, free from bias and hidden agendas. Can we count on your support?

Every contribution, big or small, helps JNS.org remain a trusted source of news you can rely on.

Become a part of our mission by donating today
Topics
Comments
Thank you. You are a loyal JNS Reader.
You have read more than 10 articles this month.
Please register for full access to continue reading and post comments.
Never miss a thing
Get the best stories faster with JNS breaking news updates