Malaysia PM Anwar calls Iran’s drone attack on Israel ‘legitimate’


SINGAPORE: Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim has described Iran’s recent use of drones to attack Israel on Apr 13 as a “legitimate act”.

In a statement on Monday (Apr 15), Mr Anwar said that the attack was a consequence of the Israeli government’s “barbarous” bombing of the Iranian embassy in Damascus, Syria on Apr 1. The incident killed 16 people, including several members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

“The war between Iran and Israel that started after the Zionist Israeli government attacked the Iranian embassy, which is against international law, is a consequence of one’s actions. When you break the law you invite a reaction,” said Mr Anwar, according to the Malay Mail and other media platforms.

He added that the war between the two regional foes was not good for the world economy and peace, and that he would be calling a meeting with his Cabinet that evening to decide on the next steps. 

Mr Anwar also said that Putrajaya welcomed assurances from Iran that its response would be the extent of its action, provided there were no further provocations by Israel.

“Operation True Promise”, as Iran called its massive aerial strike over the weekend, was the first direct attack on Israeli territory from Iranian soil. 

It started at around 8pm GMT on Apr 13 and lasted approximately five hours, according to United States officials. Air sirens sounded in more than 720 locations across the country.

According to Israel’s chief military spokesperson Daniel Hagari, cited in an Associated Press report, the attack involved more than 120 ballistic missiles, 170 drones and more than 30 cruise missiles.

The Israeli military added that the vast majority of the projectiles were intercepted outside the country’s borders. It had assistance from other countries including the United Kingdom, France, Jordan and the US.

Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian said his country had given neighbouring countries – as well as Israel’s key ally, the US – 72 hours’ notice that it would launch the strikes.

A seven-year-old girl was severely injured by missile fragments while other patients sustained minor injuries and some were treated for anxiety. No fatalities were recorded. 

The attack comes on the back of months of tension between the two countries, triggered by the war in Gaza between Israel and Palestinian militant group Hamas.

It had been previously reported that Iran has been a provider of training, funding and intelligence to Hamas, though it denied involvement in the group’s attacks on Israel. 

Other countries in the region have also reacted to Iran’s recent attack.

Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs released a statement on Apr 14 condemning the strike, adding that  “these escalating attacks exacerbate tensions and further destabilise an already tense region.”

The next day, the Philippines expressed “serious concern over the increasing tensions between Israel and Iran.”

The Philippines Department of Foreign Affairs said that it urged “all parties to refrain from escalating the situation and to work towards a peaceful resolution of their conflict”.

Vietnam’s foreign ministry spokesperson Pham Thu Hang also said her country was “deeply concerned about the tension escalation in the Middle East, especially violent acts violating the UN Charter and inflicting damage on civilians,” according to local media platform VNExpress.

Malaysia and Indonesia have also issued separate statements, calling for restraint. 

Both Muslim-majority countries do not recognise Israel and have expressed support for Palestinian rights and causes.

Source: CNA