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Iran Will Seek to Avoid Escalation With Israel

Iran will respond to the Israeli attack on its consulate in Damascus in such a way as not to escalate the situation in the Middle East.

This is the message that Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Abdollahian delivered to the United States last Sunday, according to unnamed sources that this week spoke to Reuters.

The report comes out a day after one from Bloomberg that said the U.S. and Israel are already bracing for Iran’s response, which they see as imminent, and likely to happen in the next few days.

The Bloomberg report also cited unnamed sources who suggested that Iran may use high-precision missiles to strike a military or government target in Israel.

Yet the sources Reuters spoke to said that Tehran will not rush its reaction, with one suggesting that Iran was likely “to use regional proxies to launch a number of attacks on Israel.” The U.S. Secretary of State, meanwhile, has asked China to tell Iran to not retaliate at all.

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said earlier this week that Israel "must be punished and it shall be", which, it appears, some officials in Tel Aviv and Washington may have taken perhaps too literally, based on the comments from Reuters’ sources.

If the retaliatory move is of the sort suggested by Bloomberg’s sources, however, then it would very likely lead to fast deterioration in the security situation in the Middle East, leading to a spike in oil prices. These retreated a little on Thursday after the U.S. Fed and the European Central Bank signaled there will be no rate cuts at this time because of disappointing inflation data.

The attack on the Iranian consulate in Damascus took place on April 1 and resulted in seven deaths, including a high-ranking general. Israel has not officially taken responsibility for the attack but neither has it actively denied it.

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By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com

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  • Mamdouh Salameh on April 12 2024 said:
    Iran has no alternative but to respond to the Israeli attack on its Consulate in Damascus otherwise it will lose face and will be depicted as a paper tiger.

    Iran has two options. One to go for broke and attack targets inside Israel thus risking a a joint US and Israel attack on its nuclear installations and even an Israeli nuclear attack if its attack on Israel causes considerable damage. Another option is to play safe and limit its attacks to Israeli embassies.

    I tend to believe that Iran will aim to avoid escalation with Israel and the United States and widening the war in the Middle East,

    Dr Mamdouh G Salameh
    International Oil Economist
    Global Energy Expert

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