Supreme Leader Khamenei says Iran demonstrated its power against Israel

Analysts say his comments have dampened fears of an all-out war between Iran and Israel.

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has praised the country’s armed forces for their “success” after Tehran launched an unprecedented direct attack on Israel last week.

In a meeting with Iranian military commanders on Sunday, Khamenei praised the armed forces for their “success in recent events”, a week after the country’s first-ever direct attack on Israel from its own territory.

Most of the missiles and drones were shot down by Israel and its allies and the attack caused modest damage in Israel.

“How many missiles were launched and how many of them hit their target is not the primary question, what really matters is that Iran demonstrated its power during that operation,” Khamenei said on Sunday.

“In the recent operation, the armed forces managed to minimise costs and maximise gains,” Khamenei added, urging military officials to “ceaselessly pursue military innovation and learn the enemy’s tactics”, he noted.

“Debates by the other party about how many missiles were fired, how many of them hit the target and how many didn’t, these are of secondary importance,” Khamenei added in remarks aired by state television.

The 85-year-old leader made the comments in a meeting attended by the top ranks of Iran’s regular military, police and the powerful paramilitary Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC).

Iran’s attack came in response to a suspected Israeli strike on April 1 on the Iranian consulate in Damascus, Syria, which killed two IRGC generals among others.

Khamenei’s comments did not touch on the apparent Israeli retaliatory strike Friday on the central city of Isfahan, even though air defences opened fire and Iran grounded commercial flights across much of the country.

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