DECEMBER 9, 2022
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Pentagon Chief Denies Intent for Conflict with Iran Following Retaliatory Strikes

Pentagon Chief Denies Intent for Conflict with Iran Following Retaliatory Strikes

U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin emphasized that the United States is not seeking conflict with Iran, following Iran's retaliatory strikes against Israeli-occupied territories. 

Austin took to social media on Sunday to make the statement after Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) launched a series of drone and missile attacks targeting Israel. This was in response to Israel’s assault on the Iranian Embassy's consular section in Damascus on April 1.

While Austin condemned Iran's retaliation as “reckless and unprecedented,” he claimed that U.S. forces intercepted “dozens of missiles and UAVs en route to Israel, launched from Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Yemen.”

Despite calling on Iran to halt further attacks and de-escalate tensions, Austin emphasized that the U.S. would act to protect its forces and support Israel's defense if necessary.

Iran’s permanent mission to the United Nations defended the retaliatory strikes, citing Article 51 of the UN Charter, which allows for legitimate defense against aggression. The mission warned that any further Israeli aggression could result in a “remarkably more intense” response from Iran.

The Israeli attack on Iran’s diplomatic facilities in Syria led to the death of Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Zahedi and several other Iranian officers. In response, senior Iranian leaders vowed "definitive revenge."

Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei declared during a speech in Tehran that the Israeli regime “must be punished and will be punished” for the attack on the Iranian diplomatic premises.

The international community also condemned Israel's aggression against the Iranian consulate in Damascus’s Mezzeh district.

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