Argentina condemns Iran’s missile and drone strike on Israel

President Javier Milei canceled a trip to Denmark to form a crisis committee and assess the situation

Argentine President Javier Milei condemned Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps drone and missile attack on Israel. Milei, who was in the United States, canceled a trip to Denmark in order to return to Argentina and form a crisis committee to assess the situation.

“The office of President Javier Milei expresses its solidarity and unwavering commitment to the State of Israel following the attacks by the Islamic Republic of Iran,” said a communiqué by the president’s press team released Saturday evening. 

The statement added that Milei’s Argentina adopted a new foreign policy based on the “defense of Western values” such as “life, freedom, and private property” and that the country “strongly supports the State of Israel in the defense of its sovereignty, especially against regimes that promote terror and seek to destroy western civilization.”

“The state of Israel is the bastion of Western values in the Middle East and the Argentine Republic will always stand by its side against those who seek to exterminate them,” the communiqué stressed. 

Milei was planning to leave for Denmark from the U.S. on Saturday to participate in a ceremony celebrating the acquisition of several F-16 fighter jets. However, he canceled the trip following the attacks in order “to contact various western presidents to coordinate actions and take charge of the situation,” another press release said.

On his campaign trail, the libertarian econmist made it clear that his government would pursue closer relations with Israel. It was one of the first countries he visited after taking office and he promised to move Argentina’s embassy in Israel to West Jerusalem, a disputed territory between the Palestinians and the Israelis.   

The attack comes on the heels of a significant event in Argentina regarding Iran. On Thursday, an Argentine high court ruled that Iran was behind the 1994 bombing of the AMIA, a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires, which left 85 wounded and killed 300. Two years earlier, the Israel Embassy in Buenos Aires also suffered a bombing attack that killed 22 people.

In a communiqué released on Saturday evening, the AMIA urged “democratic countries of the world” to support Israel in its “legitimate right to defend its population” and stressed that Iran is a global threat.

“Unfortunately, Argentina does not require explanations to understand the level of danger it poses, having twice been the victim of terrorist attacks planned, organized, financed, and executed by the Iranian regime,” the statement said.

In a post on X, Argentina’s Foreign Ministry suggested the country’s citizens in Israel, Iran, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, and Syria be attentive to the evolution of the situation, and follow instructions from local authorities, as well as security alerts and procedures.

The post also provided contact information for the diplomatic offices of those countries.

Argentine embassies in Israel, Iran, Lebanon, and Syria have been closed out of security concerns, a spokesperson from the foreign ministry told the Herald.

Worldwide concern over the Middle East

Last week, Iran warned that it would punish Israel after seven of its officers were killed in an Israeli airstrike on the Iranian Embassy compound in Syria on Monday.

Among the deceased was one of Iran’s top soldiers, Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Zahedi, a senior commander in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. Zahedi was visiting the embassy compound in Damascus.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said that 99% of Iran’s more than 300 drones and missiles were repelled. No victims were reported.

After the attack, Iran’s mission to the United Nations said that the military action was in response to the “Zionist regime’s aggression against our diplomatic premises in Damascus.” “The matter can be deemed concluded,” they added, but warned that if Israel makes “another mistake,” Iran’s response will be “considerably more severe.” It also warned the United States to stay away from the conflict.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Israel would retaliate. “We have determined a clear principle: Whoever harms us, we will harm them,” he said. “We will defend ourselves against any threat, and will do so level-headedly and with determination.”

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres also weighed in, calling for de-escalation. “I am deeply alarmed about the very real danger of a devastating region-wide escalation,” he said. “I urge all parties to exercise maximum restraint to avoid any action that could lead to major military confrontations on multiple fronts in the Middle East.”

Speaking to pilgrims in St. Peter’s Square on Sunday, Pope Francis urged Iran and Israel to avoid steps that could feed “a spiral of violence” that risked plunging the Middle East deeper into conflict. 

“No one should threaten the existence of others. All nations should stand, instead, for peace, and help Israelis and Palestinians to live in two states, side by side, in safety,” he said.

Quoting a White House official, news agency Reuters reported that President Joe Biden told Israeli Netanyahu that the United States would not participate in any Israeli counter-offensive against Iran.

John Kirby, the White House’s top national security spokesperson, told ABC’s “This Week” program on Sunday that the United States will continue to help Israel defend itself but does not want war with Iran.

“We don’t seek escalated tensions in the region. We don’t seek a wider conflict,” Kirby said.

Herald / Reuters


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