TEHRAN, Iran — Iran warned Israel in a letter to the UN Security Council chief on Thursday against any attack on its nuclear facilities after Jerusalem declared its right to use force.
“We warn the Zionist regime against any miscalculation or military adventure targeting Iran and its nuclear program,” Iran’s ambassador to the UN Majid Takht Ravanchi wrote in the letter published by the Tasnim news agency.
He accused Israel of taking its “provocative and adventurous threats… to alarming levels” and said that the “systematic and explicit threats by the Zionist regime… prove that it is responsible for terrorist attacks against [Iran’s] peaceful nuclear program in the past.”
Speaking alongside US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Wednesday, Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said Israel “reserves the right” to use force to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.
“Other options are going to be on the table if diplomacy fails,” Lapid said. “By saying other options, I think everyone understands — here, in Israel, in the Emirates, and in Tehran — what is it that we mean.”
He added that, as sons of Holocaust survivors, both he and Blinken “know there are moments when nations must use force to protect the world from evil.”
In his own remarks, Blinken said: “We continue to believe that diplomacy is the most effective way,” but added: “We are prepared to turn to other options if Iran doesn’t change course.”
The remarks come amid a push to resume talks on reviving the troubled nuclear deal between Iran and the major powers which has been on life support since 2018, when then-US president Donald Trump unilaterally pulled out.
“With every passing day, and Iran’s refusal to engage in good faith, the runway gets short,” Blinken said. “Time is running short. We are getting closer to a point at which returning to compliance with the JCPOA will not in and of itself recapture the benefits of the JCPOA.”
US President Joe Biden, who took office in January, has signaled a willingness to return to the 2015 deal, which gave Iran relief from economic sanctions in exchange for clear limits on its nuclear activities. Israel has been staunchly opposed to its revival.
The EU envoy charged with coordinating talks on the deal, Enrique Mora, met with deputy Foreign Minister Ali Bagheri in Tehran on Thursday.