White House Cautions Against Israeli Retaliation

The White House cautioned against a possible Israeli strike on Iran in retaliation for the barrage of missiles and drones the Islamic Republic launched Saturday. The news came amid speculation of Israel’s move following the unprecedented attack.

White House National Security Communications Adviser John Kirby said that while the United States condemned Iran’s attack, it was not time for a further escalation.

Kirby said that “just because Iran conducted this unprecedented attack, which we and our Israeli partners and other partners thwarted, doesn’t mean that we should just accept a constant, rising escalation in the region. The president’s not going to accept that. He wants to see things de-escalate, and everything we’re going to do from this point forward is going to be designed to continue to try to reach that outcome.”

The adviser’s comments came after President Joe Biden reportedly told the Israeli government that the United States would not be involved in a possible retaliatory operation.

The White House received considerable criticism for allowing a sanctions waiver to expire, possibly allowing Iran to access about $10 billion in funds.

Israel’s war cabinet empowered Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to take action against Iran after the country launched more than 300 missiles and drones at Israel over the weekend. More than 90% of the projectiles either crashed or were shot down prior to impact. Only one young girl was injured due to the attacks.

Iranian military vehicles were seen moving in the capital Tehran as the country’s leadership warned Israel against taking any action. The movements could have been tied to the potential Israeli threat or in preparation for the nation’s Army Day, which it will celebrate on Thursday.

There was also concern about which targets Israel would select for any such retaliation. Included on the list of possible targets may be a series of Iranian missile launch sites, drone factories or Iran’s nuclear program.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) previously noted the increase in Iran’s stockpile of enriched uranium, which may be accelerating toward the amount needed to construct a nuclear weapon.

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