• Thursday, 16 May 2024

Blinken calls counterparts with concerns about potential Iran attack

Blinken calls counterparts with concerns about potential Iran attack

Washington, 12 April 2024 (dpa/MIA) - US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has called on his counterparts in China, Turkey and Saudi Arabia amid rising concerns of a possible Iranian retaliatory attack on Israel, the Department of State said on Thursday.

"Secretary Blinken has been engaged in diplomacy over the past 24 hours through a series of calls to foreign counterparts... to make clear that escalation is not in anyone's interest and that countries should urge Iran not to escalate," US State Department spokesman Matthew Miller said in Washington.

Miller said that Blinken spoke to counterparts "including Turkish foreign minister Hakan Fidan, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan."

"We have also engaged with European allies and partners over the past few days and urged them as well to send a clear message to Iran," Miller continued, "that escalation is not in Iran's interest. It's not in the region's interest and it's not in the world's interest."

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has threatened revenge for an airstrike on its embassy grounds in Damascus at the beginning of the month that has been attributed to Israel.

Two brigadier generals and five other members of Iran's powerful Islamic Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) were killed in an airstrike on the Iranian embassy compound in Damascus.

The airstrike was just like an attack on Iranian territory, Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Wednesday at a prayer ceremony to mark the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan. Israel had made a mistake and "must and will be punished."

Khamenei is the most powerful man in the Islamic Republic and has the final say in all strategic matters. He is also commander-in-chief of Iran's armed forces.

Photo: MIA archive