Iranian and South African foreign ministers discuss Tehran’s past retaliation against Israel

TEMPO.CO, Tehran – Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian and South African Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Naledi Pandor on Saturday discussed Tehran’s recent retaliatory operation against Israel.

In a telephone conversation, the two sides also discussed bilateral ties and the latest developments in West Asia, according to a statement from Iran’s Foreign Ministry.

Amir-Abdollahian stressed that Iran decided last week, in accordance with its legitimate right to self-defense, to attack two Israeli military and intelligence bases that played a role in Israel’s deadly April 1 attack on the Iranian consulate in Syria.

The Iranian minister said the decision was taken because the Israeli act was not condemned by the UN Security Council, with certain permanent members, namely the United States, Britain and France, blocking the Council’s condemnation.

He added that after its military operation, Iran told the international community that it was not trying to expand the conflict, but that “if Israel takes action against Iran again, Tehran will respond seriously and strongly.”

During the phone call, Amir-Abdollahian praised the South African government’s “historic initiative” last December to file a lawsuit against Israel in the International Court of Justice over its “acts of genocide” in the Gaza Strip.

For her part, Pandor stressed the need for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza.

She noted that her country plans to host Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi this year.

Iran launched a missile and drone attack on Israel last Saturday, in response to the Israeli airstrike on the consular section of the Iranian embassy in the Syrian capital Damascus on April 1, which killed seven Iranians, including two experienced commanders.

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