On January 8th, there’s varied responses, following an Iranian missile attack on bases hosting US forces in Iraq.
Notably, Israeli media attempted to fuel some fears, by claiming that Hezbollah would target Israel in the case of a US response to the Iranian attack.
The article by the Jerusalem Post, claimed that the group said it would respond, but then only contains a presumed statement by the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).
“We in no way consider the Zionist regime (of Israel) to be separate from the criminal US regime in these crimes,” the IRGC warned in a statement. “We warn the Great Satan, the bloodthirsty and arrogant regime of the US, that any new wicked act or further agression (against Iran) will bring about more painful and crushing responses,” stressed the IRGC.
In addition, CNN reported that the IRGC said on its Telegram Channel that it would target Dubai in the United Arab Emirates and Haifa in Israel if Iranian soil was targeted.
Iran making threats of mass escalation. To attack more bases in Iraq. To unleash Hezbollah. To unleash shiite militias in Iraq. To attack Israel and Dubai. Making it clear it is ready for a widespead campaign if this escalates further with a US response.
— Richard Engel (@RichardEngel) January 8, 2020
There’s been no official statement by Hezbollah on the matter.
The UK, on its part, strongly condemned the attack by Iran, urging it to not to repeat any such actions.
British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said he was “concerned” by reports of casualties and the use of ballistic missiles.
“We urge Iran not to repeat these reckless and dangerous attacks, and instead to pursue urgent de-escalation,” he said. “A war in the Middle East would only benefit Daesh [Islamic State] and other terrorist groups.”
British warships, helicopters and several hundred military personnel have been put on standby of 48 hours or less for deployment in or near Iraq, ready to respond as the Iran crisis escalates.
This was announced by British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace, and it would happen if British soldiers were killed by Iran or its proxies.
“If British civilians were killed or even military personnel as a result of Iranian or terrorist action, we would look at the response. The response would no doubt be proportionate,” said Wallace.
Two British warships are already stationed near the Gulf, the HMS Montrose and the HMS Defender, which are ready to escort British flagged oil tankers through the strait of Hormuz if required.
In British Parliament, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn asked how the assassination of General Qassem Soleimani was justified under international law.
“From the information and intelligence I have seen it is clear that there is a case for self-defence to be made, about an individual [Suleimani] who had come to Iraq to coordinate murder and attacks on US citizens,” Wallace said.
The UK has deployed approximately 20 military planners to Iraq to help prepare for a range of scenarios, from an escalation of conflict with Iran to a full departure of British forces from the country.
China also responded to the Iranian missile attack. Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told reporters that Beijing has called for restraint by all sides and is in close consultation with the governments involved, including at the United Nations and through China’s embassy in Baghdad.
Geng also accused the U.S. of abusing the rights of people in the region through its military actions.
Germany has condemned the Iranian missile strike at bases in Iraq used by U.S. forces.
Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer said the government “rejects this aggression in the sharpest possible terms.”
She told German public broadcaster ARD that “it’s now particularly up to the Iranians not to engage in further escalation.’
Russian member of parliament Vladimir Dzhabarov warned that a conflict between the U.S. and Iran might lead to a nuclear war.
“Reciprocal strikes by the U.S. and Iran may lead to an all-out war in the region,” Dzhabarov said. “If Washington sees that it can’t achieve its goals, there’s a danger of a nuclear war.”
In his view, the UNSC should get involved in the situation, in order to prevent a further escalation in the Middle East.
Japan said that it would do its best to assist governments in easing tensions and avoid a further escalation.
Japanese Chief Cabinet spokesman Yoshihide Suga said that his “government will coordinate with the related governments to collect intelligence while we ensure the safety of Japanese citizens in the region.”
“Japan will also urge all related nations to do their utmost diplomatic effort to improve the relations.”
He said that Japan would deploy a warship to the Persian Gulf to protect its commercial vessels, just in case.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison says all of his country’s troops and diplomatic staff in Iraq are safe, after the missile strikes, but provided no further comment on the strikes.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu will visit Iraq on January 9th within the framework of attempts to reduce the tension between the US and Iran.
In a written statement made by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, “In the context of our intense diplomatic initiatives to reduce the increasing tension as a result of recent developments in our region, our Minister is expected to make a one-day visit to Iraq on 9 January 2020.” statements were included.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin are to meet on January 8th and it is likely that they will also provide a statement on the situation.
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