Iran’s 350 missile strike was act of a ‘despotic regime’ & we’re working with allies to avoid more bloodshed, PM says

RISHI Sunak is demanding Israel show restraint in response to Iran’s military onslaught – to stop the Middle East conflict spiralling out of control.

The Prime Minister called out Tehran for its “reckless and dangerous escalation” saying their 350 missile strike was the work of a “despotic regime”.

Rishi Sunak called Iran's 350 missile strike an act of a 'despotic regime'


Rishi Sunak called Iran’s 350 missile strike an act of a ‘despotic regime’
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (pictured on the phone to US President Joe Biden) has decided on his plans to strike back at Iran


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (pictured on the phone to US President Joe Biden) has decided on his plans to strike back at IranCredit: Alamy
The moment Iran began its 300-missile attack on Israel was revealed by Iranian state television


The moment Iran began its 300-missile attack on Israel was revealed by Iranian state television

Mr Sunak revealed that he would be speaking to Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu as he urged “calmer heads” to prevail as he condemned the attack.

The PM said that “all sides must show restraint”.

He added that if the attacks were successful the fallout for regional stability would be “hard to overstate”.

Mr Sunak said: “With this attack Iran has once again shown its true colours. They are intent on sowing chaos in their own back yard, on further destabilising the Middle East.

“Our aim is to support stability and security because it is right for the region and because although the Middle East is thousands of miles away, it has a direct effect on our security and prosperity at home.

“So, we’re working urgently with our allies to de-escalate the situation and prevent further bloodshed. We want to see calmer heads prevail and we’re directing all our diplomatic efforts to that end.”

Mr Sunak praised the RAF for shooting down a number of drones from Iran heading towards Israel as he said they were attempting to “plunge the Middle East into a new crisis”.

Leaders of the G7 spoke on Sunday afternoon highlighting how they were “united in our condemnation of this attack”.

He also pointed to attacks in Kyiv, Ukraine, at the weekend as Vladimir Putin launched attacks.

Mr Sunak said: “Threats to civility are growing everywhere. We are meeting those threats time after time. It is why our pilots were in action this weekend.”

PM Rishi Sunak reacts to Iran attack on Israel as The Sun’s Head of Video reports from Jerusalem on the overnight strike

Sir Keir Starmer says there was “no doubt” the attack “has left the world a more dangerous place”.

He said Iran “must be wholly condemned by all”.

Sir Keir added: “But let us also be clear, a full scale conflict in the Middle East is in no-one’s interest.

“It is a path that can only lead to more bloodshed, more instability, and the unleashing of forces that are beyond the ability of anyone to control.”

The Prime Minister’s intervention came as Number 10 rejected any claim from Iran that it gave advance warning of the drone and missile onslaught.

A spokesman for the Prime Minister said they were not “briefed directly” by Tehran ahead of the Saturday night attack.

They added that it would be hard to “overstate the fallout” for regional stability had the air strikes been successful.

Prior to Saturday's attack, Israel was already said to be preparing a possible strike on Iran's nuke facilities


Prior to Saturday’s attack, Israel was already said to be preparing a possible strike on Iran’s nuke facilities

Number 10 added: “The UK will work with our allies, including regional partners, to de-escalate the situation.”

Ministers will reject any claims to publish a legal summary for the UK’s action to counter the attack on Israel.

UK military were operating within Operation Shader which is already set up in the fight against the so-called Islamic State.

RAF pilots were given permission to intercept airborne attacks starting in Iran by “taking them out”.

No 10 added: “The UK was acting in the collective self-defence of Israel and for regional security.”

Military jets were moved from Romania to protect Nato from Vladimir Putin’s Russia.

What is Israel’s Iron Dome & how does it work?

ISRAEL’S Iron Dome helped shoot down 99 per cent of the missile and drones it launched on Saturday. But what is it?

ISRAEL’S air defence system is one of the best in the world having successfully intercepted thousands of rockets.

The mobile all-weather Iron Dome is at the forefront of that and was central to fending off Iran’s recent missile and drone attack.

Here’s the lowdown on the high tech system.

What is Israel’s Iron Dome?

Iron Dome is a counter rocket, artillery, and mortar (C-RAM) short range air defence system.

It is designed to intercept and destroy short-range rockets and artillery shells fired from distances of 2–43 miles away.

It intercepts rockets that are travelling in the direction of urban areas and brings them down – the first system of its kind in the world.

Israel hopes to increase the range of the dome’s interceptions to 250km and make it able to stop rockets coming from two directions.

Developed by Rafael Advanced Defence Systems and Israel Aerospace Industries, it can be operated in all weather conditions including fog, dust storm, low clouds and rain.

From 2011 to 2021, the United States contributed a total of $1.6billion to the Iron Dome defence system, befor another US$1billion was approved by the US Congress in 2022.

How does it work?

The dome is made up of missile batteries which are shaped like giant match boxes and are tilted in the direction of Gaza.

The Iron Dome monitor detects a target using radar and monitors its trajectory.

A control centre then calculates an interception point and then commands a rocket to launch if the foreign missile is heading towards an urban area.

Once in contact with the missile, the rocket explodes and brings it down.

Each launcher contains 20 Tamir Missiles with proximity war heads and there are several batteries positioned around the country.

Since being implemented in 2011 the computer systems have been updated, improved and upgrades to improve the accuracy of the rockets.

Earlier, Lord Cameron demanded Israel to be “smart as well as tough” by not escalating the conflict with Iran.

The Foreign Secretary said Israel should recognise the attack as an “almost total failure” and they should “think with head as well as heart” before responding.

He said that if the drones and missiles had not been shot down it could have caused thousands of casualties.

The use of RAF jets would be deployed again as they were deployed to “backfill” for America in the joint operation against Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

The Peer said: “If there was another Iran attack – Iran has said they’re not going to attack again, and after the failure of their attack, I’m not surprised – but absolutely, we’ll always keep these things under review.

John Healey, Labour’s shadow defence secretary, called on Mr Sunak to set out the government’s actions to “pursue the path of peace” in the Middle East.

He told the BBC: “We need to hear about the reasons for the military action, the legal basis for it, but most importantly what the UK Government is doing diplomatically to try and reduce tensions, to restore some stability and to pursue the path of peace and a ceasefire in Gaza.”

How Israel could launch ‘revenge’ strike on Iran


ISRAEL’s war cabinet has drawn up plans for a revenge attack after Iran’s unprecedented missile and drone blitz – but world leaders fear the outbreak of an “uncontrollable war”.

From a fighter jet blitz on Tehran’s nuclear facilities to a submarine strike or large-scale cyberattacks – there are five major ways Israel may choose to hit back at its enemy.

On Saturday night, Iran attacked Israel with a wave of hundreds of ballistic and cruise missiles and drones – the first ever direct attack by Tehran on its enemy.

Israel’s Iron Dome defence system and its allies warplanes – including the UK’s RAF Typhoons – shot down 99 per cent of the projectiles.

The aerial attack was a major departure from what has been a long-running shadow war between the two states and sparked the grim possibility of an all-our war across the region.

Israel has vowed a “significant response” in revenge for the 110 ballistic missiles, 36 cruise missiles and 185 attack drones – which Jerusalem saw as a “declaration of war”.

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu called off an immediate retaliation after US President Joe Biden pushed for restraint and warned him to “think carefully” about his next move.

But Israel states it reserves the right to strike Iran “at a manner and time” of its own choosing and told the UN that Iran has “crossed every red line” in its attack.

Jonathan Conicus, senior fellow at the The Foundation for Defense of Democracies and former IDF officer, said this is the “opening act” of Israeli-Iran relations.

He told The Sun: “Iran for the first time stepped out of the convenience and protection of the shadows, and decided to take on Israel directly, and by doing so, of course, Iran presents itself as a target as well.

“How will Israel retaliate? And how will Israel carry a message to the Iranians that they have definitely crossed one bridge too far?”

As the world braces for Israel’s response, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres told an emergency Security Council meeting on Sunday: “The Middle East is on the brink.

“The people of the region are confronting a real danger of a devastating full-scale conflict. Now is the time to defuse and de-escalate.”

PM Rishi Sunak condemned Iran’s attack as “reckless” and called for calm, while a joint statement from G7 yesterday also urged caution, fearing an “uncontrollable” war in the region.

But the question on everyone’s lips is how will Israel choose to respond.

The IDF announced last night it had approved “both offensive and defensive actions” – but did not reveal further detail.

Netanyahu is due to reconvene its war cabinet today, which largely want a response to Iran’s attack – but are said to be split on the scale and timing of it.


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