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US, European allies press Israel for restraint following Iranian attack

US & Europe offer sanctions on oil and drone production in lieu of military response

United States National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan speaks to the media in Washington, DC on Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2022 (Credit photo: Ron Sachs / Pool via CNP/ REUTERS).

The United States and European allies continue to urge Israel not to respond militarily to the unprecedented Iranian aerial strike in the early morning hours on Sunday.

Western powers have offered to increase sanctions targeting Iran’s ability to build military drones and sell oil instead of a military strike. 

British Foreign Secretary David Cameron is scheduled to arrive in Tel Aviv on Wednesday morning for discussions meant to prevent an Israeli retaliation against Iran. 

Cameron will reportedly meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Israel Katz, as well as former IDF chief, Benny Gantz, who is a minister in Netanyahu's War Cabinet.

While the visit is ostensibly related to the humanitarian situation in Gaza, Cameron is expected to discuss the Iranian attacks and to urge caution regarding Israel's response.

Netanyahu spoke with UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak by phone on Tuesday. Sunak “stressed that significant escalation was in no one’s interest and would only deepen insecurity in the Middle East.” 

Sunik reportedly told Netanyahu, “This is a moment for calm heads to prevail.” 

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock arrived in Israel on Tuesday for meetings with Netanyahu, Katz and other senior officials. Before her departure, she told reporters: “What matters now is to put a stop to Iran without encouraging further escalation.”

U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said the United States, together with its allies, would work on sanctions designed to disrupt Iran’s “malign and destabilizing activity.” Yellen did not specify which sanctions the U.S. was considering, but said “all options to disrupt terrorist financing of Iran continue to be on the table.” 

U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said new sanctions may be announced “in the coming days.” 

“We will not hesitate to continue to take action, in coordination with allies and partners around the world, and with Congress, to hold the Iranian government accountable for its malicious and destabilizing actions,” Sullivan said. 

On Monday, Sunak said that the G7 group was working on a coordinated package of actions against Iran. European Union Policy Chief Josep Borrell said the body was looking to expand sanctions, as well.

“I will send to the External Action Service the request to start the necessary work related to these sanctions,” Borrell said. 

According to news reports, Israeli leaders have been fairly united in calling for a response to Iran, although, there are differences of opinion regarding the exact type of response. 

An American official told CBS News that Washington expects Israel to conduct a “limited” strike within Iran, but clarified that Israel had not yet shared the details of such an attack.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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