April 13, 2024

NIAC Statement on Iranian Retaliation Against Israel

Washington, DC – Jamal Abdi, President of the National Iranian American Council, issued the following statement on reports indicating Iran is undertaking retaliatory strikes following Israel’s bombing of its diplomatic compound in Damascus, Syria:

We are deeply concerned that Iranian retaliatory strikes following Israel’s April 1 attack on its diplomatic compound in Damascus will move the region even further from the path to peace and security. The launch of a significant attack on Israeli territory from Iran is without recent precedent and, unless there is a serious effort towards deconfliction, may confirm that Iran, Israel and the United States are in the midst of the regional war that so many have feared. 

We call on the Biden Administration to exercise the United States’ considerable diplomatic leverage to restrain Israel and Iran to ensure this conflict does not spiral further out of control. Far too many innocents have already suffered in the war that began October 7, and the cycle of violence and inhumanity must be broken. Preventing a regional war must be the top imperative and this may mean that Joe Biden must finally say “no” to Israel and Netanyahu.

Biden’s bearhug approach towards Israel has completely failed and has put the U.S. at the risk of entering a war of choice – Netanyahu’s choice. Israel launched a military attack on a diplomatic compound, violating international law and all but guaranteeing an Iranian response. The Israelis notably did not warn the United States, even though it put U.S. troops in harm’s way, and still faced no consequences from the Biden Administration. Netanyahu appears eager to extend and expand the disastrous war in Gaza and draw the U.S. into a regional war and, by continually abetting the war and enabling Israel’s worst instincts, Biden may have granted Netanyahu’s wish.

Now is the time for restraint and diplomacy, not more unconditional support for military escalation. President Biden must put his foot down to do what’s necessary to prevent further military engagement between Israel and Iran and to demand a ceasefire to end the humanitarian tragedy in Gaza.

Our thoughts are with everyone who could be impacted by this tragic escalation, regardless of their nationality and where they live or are stationed. War has brought famine and likely genocide to Gaza. It is the lifeblood of corruption and authoritarianism, from Netanyahu to Khamenei. It was war that, in the aftermath of Iran’s 1979 revolution, helped fundamentalists consolidate power. The threat of war in Iran has provided cover for a security state that subjugates its citizens in the name of sustaining itself. Anyone who yearns for a future in which Iranians are free of the shackles of authoritarianism must reject war and work for peace and diplomacy.


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