U.S. and Allies Sanction Iran, Urge Israeli Restraint After Attacks

The US and allies impose sanctions on Iran for attacking Israel, as both sides carefully calibrate actions to avoid full-scale war amid efforts to revive the Iran nuclear deal.

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Bijay Laxmi
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U.S. and Allies Sanction Iran, Urge Israeli Restraint After Attacks

U.S. and Allies Sanction Iran, Urge Israeli Restraint After Attacks

The United States and its European allies have imposed sanctions on Iran for its attack on Israel last week, while urging Israel to show restraint in its retaliation to avoid escalating the conflict into a wider regional war. The sanctions target individuals and entities involved in Iran's drone and missile programs, as well as its steel industry.

Iran launched a barrage of over 100 ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, and drones at Israel on April 13, in what was an unprecedented direct attack on Israeli territory. Israel responded with a strike on Friday, April 19, targeting an air defense radar site near Isfahan that is part of the protection for Iran's Natanz nuclear facility. The Israeli strike appeared to be limited in scope and designed to send a signal rather than cause major damage.

Why this matters: The direct confrontation between Iran and Israel marks a significant escalation in their long-running shadow war and raises fears of a broader conflict that could engulf the region. The international community, including the U.S., Europe, and regional powers, is scrambling to prevent further escalation and contain the fallout.

Both Iran and Israel appear to be carefully calibrating their actions to avoid a full-scale war. Iran has downplayed the significance of the Israeli strike, with Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian dismissing it as "insignificant" and "like child's play." "We will not respond to this attack in the way the enemy wants, such as by targeting nuclear facilities," Amir-Abdollahian said.

Israel has not officially claimed responsibility for the attack, and Israeli officials have been tight-lipped about the operation. However, the strike demonstrated Israel's ability to penetrate Iran's air defenses and strike military targets within its territory.

The G7 foreign ministers, meeting in Italy, condemned Iran's attack on Israel and pledged to hold Tehran accountable. "We will continue to degrade Iran's missile and drone capabilities through additional coordinated sanctions and other measures," the G7 statement said. The ministers also called for restraint and de-escalation from both sides.

The confrontation between Iran and Israel comes against the backdrop of ongoing efforts to revive the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, which the U.S. withdrew from in 2018. Talks have stalled in recent months, and the attack has further complicated prospects for a diplomatic breakthrough.

The flare-up also coincides with heightened tensions between Israel and the Palestinians, particularly in the Gaza Strip where heavy fighting has raged for the past six months. The U.S. has expressed support for Israel's right to self-defense while also urging it to take steps to de-escalate the situation in Gaza and the West Bank.

In a statement, U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said the United States was working with allies and partners in the region to prevent further escalation and protect civilians. He reiterated the U.S. commitment to Israel's security while also emphasizing the need for restraint. "We will continue to support Israel's right to defend itself while also

Key Takeaways

  • US, allies impose sanctions on Iran for attack on Israel
  • Iran launched over 100 missiles, drones at Israel; Israel struck Iran
  • Confrontation marks escalation in Iran-Israel shadow war, risks wider conflict
  • G7 condemns Iran attack, vows to degrade its missile, drone capabilities
  • Flare-up complicates efforts to revive 2015 Iran nuclear deal