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The US Is “Not Looking For a Wider War With Iran” – Mother Jones

The US Is “Not Looking For a Wider War With Iran” – Mother Jones
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President Biden mets with members of the National Security Council regarding the unfolding missile attacks on Israel in the Situation Room of the White House Saturday night.Adam Schultz/The White House/ZUMA

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A Biden administration official said this morning that the United States is “not looking for a wider war with Iran” following Iran’s launch of retaliatory strikes against Israel yesterday.

White House National Security Communications Advisor John Kirby told Kristen Welker of NBC’s Meet the Press that President Biden does not “want to see this escalate,” even as Kirby assert again that the US will help Israel defend itself from attacks.

“The president’s been clear: We don’t want to see this escalate. We’re not looking for a wider war with Iran,” Kirby said. “I think the coming hours and days will tell us a lot.”

Kirby did not say if the US would support Israel if it retaliated against Iran.

Over the past two months, Israel has struck targets in Lebanon and Syria in pursuit of a wider effort against Hezbollah, which is separate from the state of Iran but aligned. On April 1, the attacks against targets in the Middle East beyond its war in Gaza reached a new peak: Iran said Israel attacked an embassy in Damascus, killing multiple Iranian military officials. In response, Iran has made clear through this month that it would strike Israel.

On Saturday, Iran launched drones at Israel, marking a major escalation in the regional conflict sparked by the Israel-Hamas war.

Kirby’s comments come after Biden said in a statement yesterday that in support of Israel the US sent “aircraft and ballistic missile defense destroyers to the region over the course of the past week,” and that they helped Israel fend off the attack.

Biden also hinted at a potential response should the US become more directly targeted: “And while we have not seen attacks on our forces or facilities today, we will remain vigilant to all threats and will not hesitate to take all necessary action to protect our people.” 

Secretary of State Antony Blinken echoed Kirby’s comments in a statement released this morning: “While we do not seek escalation, we will continue to support Israel’s defense, and as the President made clear, we will defend US personnel.”

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Kirby said President Biden plans to call the Group of Seven together later today “to talk about a diplomatic response here.” 





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