Friday 14 Jun 2024
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(April 20): Iran’s foreign minister compared the drones used in an attack by Israel early Friday to “toys”, in comments that aimed at downplaying the significance of the strike on Iranian territory.  

The drones intercepted in the central city of Isfahan “were more like toys that our children play with — not drones”, Hossein Amirabdollahian said in an interview with NBC News, his first since the Israeli incursion.

Iranian media said the attack “caused no damage or incident”, and Amirabdollahian told the US news network through an Iranian government interpreter that the development couldn’t properly be described as a “strike” due to its limited scope and lack of severity.

In a report contradicting Tehran’s account, though, ABC News cited a senior US official who wasn’t identified, saying Israel launched an additional three missiles targeting an air defence unit stationed near a nuclear facility in Isfahan.

The projectiles struck a target, according to the ABC report. Tehran labelled the attack as a “sabotage” operation, denying that it had been targeted by missiles from outside the country.

Friday’s action marked the latest development in tit-for-tat retaliations between Israel and its arch-enemy Iran. It followed the Islamic Republic’s unprecedented drone and missile attack on Israel a week ago, which Tehran said it carried out in response to a suspected Israeli assault on its consulate in Syria on April 1.

Amirabdollahian told NBC that Iran had no current intention to strike back at Israel.

“If Israel retaliates and comes up with a new adventurism, then we will respond,” he said. “But if not, then we are done. We are concluded.”

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