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Iran's supreme leader tacitly acknowledges that Tehran hit little in its attack on Israel

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Iran's supreme leader tacitly acknowledges that Tehran hit little in its attack on Israel
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Iran's supreme leader tacitly acknowledges that Tehran hit little in its attack on Israel

2024-04-22 09:57 Last Updated At:10:00

JERUSALEM (AP) — Iran's supreme leader on Sunday dismissed any discussion of whether Tehran's unprecedented drone-and-missile attack on Israel hit anything there, a tacit acknowledgment that despite launching a major assault, few projectiles actually made it through to their targets.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's comments before senior military leaders didn't touch on the apparent Israeli retaliatory strike on Friday on the central city of Isfahan, even though air defenses opened fire and Iran grounded commercial flights across much of the country.

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In this photo released by the official website of the office of the Iranian supreme leader, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei speaks in his meeting with a group of senior military leaders, in Tehran, Iran, Sunday, April 21, 2024. Iran's supreme leader on Sunday dismissed any discussion of whether Tehran's unprecedented drone-and-missile attack on Israel hit anything there, a tacit acknowledgment that despite launching a massive assault, few projectiles actually made through to their targets. (Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader via AP)

JERUSALEM (AP) — Iran's supreme leader on Sunday dismissed any discussion of whether Tehran's unprecedented drone-and-missile attack on Israel hit anything there, a tacit acknowledgment that despite launching a major assault, few projectiles actually made it through to their targets.

A missile is on display with a sign on it reading in Farsi: "Death to Israel" in front of a mosque in the shape of Dome of the Rock of Jerusalem at an entrance of the Quds town west of the capital Tehran, Iran, Sunday, April 21, 2024. Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei on Sunday dismissed any discussion of whether Tehran's unprecedented drone-and-missile attack on Israel hit anything there, a tacit acknowledgment that despite launching a massive assault, few projectiles actually made through to their targets. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)

A missile is on display with a sign on it reading in Farsi: "Death to Israel" in front of a mosque in the shape of Dome of the Rock of Jerusalem at an entrance of the Quds town west of the capital Tehran, Iran, Sunday, April 21, 2024. Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei on Sunday dismissed any discussion of whether Tehran's unprecedented drone-and-missile attack on Israel hit anything there, a tacit acknowledgment that despite launching a massive assault, few projectiles actually made through to their targets. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)

A missile is on display with a sign on it reading in Farsi: "Death to Israel" in front of a mosque in the shape of Dome of the Rock of Jerusalem at an entrance of the Quds town west of the capital Tehran, Iran, Sunday, April 21, 2024. Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei on Sunday dismissed any discussion of whether Tehran's unprecedented drone-and-missile attack on Israel hit anything there, a tacit acknowledgment that despite launching a massive assault, few projectiles actually made through to their targets. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)

A missile is on display with a sign on it reading in Farsi: "Death to Israel" in front of a mosque in the shape of Dome of the Rock of Jerusalem at an entrance of the Quds town west of the capital Tehran, Iran, Sunday, April 21, 2024. Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei on Sunday dismissed any discussion of whether Tehran's unprecedented drone-and-missile attack on Israel hit anything there, a tacit acknowledgment that despite launching a massive assault, few projectiles actually made through to their targets. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)

A missile is on display with a sign on it reading in Farsi: "Death to Israel" in front of a mosque in the shape of Dome of the Rock of Jerusalem at an entrance of the Quds town west of the capital Tehran, Iran, Sunday, April 21, 2024. Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei on Sunday dismissed any discussion of whether Tehran's unprecedented drone-and-missile attack on Israel hit anything there, a tacit acknowledgment that despite launching a massive assault, few projectiles actually made through to their targets. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)

A missile is on display with a sign on it reading in Farsi: "Death to Israel" in front of a mosque in the shape of Dome of the Rock of Jerusalem at an entrance of the Quds town west of the capital Tehran, Iran, Sunday, April 21, 2024. Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei on Sunday dismissed any discussion of whether Tehran's unprecedented drone-and-missile attack on Israel hit anything there, a tacit acknowledgment that despite launching a massive assault, few projectiles actually made through to their targets. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)

In this photo released by the official website of the office of the Iranian supreme leader, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, right, speaks in his meeting with a group of senior military leaders, in Tehran, Iran, Sunday, April 21, 2024. Iran's supreme leader on Sunday dismissed any discussion of whether Tehran's unprecedented drone-and-missile attack on Israel hit anything there, a tacit acknowledgment that despite launching a massive assault, few projectiles actually made through to their targets. (Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader via AP)

In this photo released by the official website of the office of the Iranian supreme leader, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, right, speaks in his meeting with a group of senior military leaders, in Tehran, Iran, Sunday, April 21, 2024. Iran's supreme leader on Sunday dismissed any discussion of whether Tehran's unprecedented drone-and-missile attack on Israel hit anything there, a tacit acknowledgment that despite launching a massive assault, few projectiles actually made through to their targets. (Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader via AP)

In this photo released by an official website of the office of the Iranian supreme leader, a group of senior military leaders, listen to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in their meeting in Tehran, Iran, Sunday, April 21, 2024. Iran's supreme leader on Sunday dismissed any discussion of whether Tehran's unprecedented drone-and-missile attack on Israel hit anything there, a tacit acknowledgment that despite launching a massive assault, few projectiles actually made through to their targets. (Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader via AP)

In this photo released by an official website of the office of the Iranian supreme leader, a group of senior military leaders, listen to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in their meeting in Tehran, Iran, Sunday, April 21, 2024. Iran's supreme leader on Sunday dismissed any discussion of whether Tehran's unprecedented drone-and-missile attack on Israel hit anything there, a tacit acknowledgment that despite launching a massive assault, few projectiles actually made through to their targets. (Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader via AP)

In this photo released by the official website of the office of the Iranian supreme leader, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, center, leads a prayer during his meeting with a group of senior military leaders, in Tehran, Iran, Sunday, April 21, 2024. Iran's supreme leader on Sunday dismissed any discussion of whether Tehran's unprecedented drone-and-missile attack on Israel hit anything there, a tacit acknowledgment that despite launching a massive assault, few projectiles actually made through to their targets. (Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader via AP)

In this photo released by the official website of the office of the Iranian supreme leader, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, center, leads a prayer during his meeting with a group of senior military leaders, in Tehran, Iran, Sunday, April 21, 2024. Iran's supreme leader on Sunday dismissed any discussion of whether Tehran's unprecedented drone-and-missile attack on Israel hit anything there, a tacit acknowledgment that despite launching a massive assault, few projectiles actually made through to their targets. (Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader via AP)

In this photo released by an official website of the office of the Iranian supreme leader, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei speaks in his meeting with a group of senior military leaders, in Tehran, Iran, Sunday, April 21, 2024. Iran's supreme leader on Sunday dismissed any discussion of whether Tehran's unprecedented drone-and-missile attack on Israel hit anything there, a tacit acknowledgment that despite launching a massive assault, few projectiles actually made through to their targets. (Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader via AP)

In this photo released by an official website of the office of the Iranian supreme leader, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei speaks in his meeting with a group of senior military leaders, in Tehran, Iran, Sunday, April 21, 2024. Iran's supreme leader on Sunday dismissed any discussion of whether Tehran's unprecedented drone-and-missile attack on Israel hit anything there, a tacit acknowledgment that despite launching a massive assault, few projectiles actually made through to their targets. (Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader via AP)

In this photo released by an official website of the office of the Iranian supreme leader, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei leads Eid al-Fitr prayer marking the end of the Muslims holy fasting month of Ramadan, in Tehran, Iran, Wednesday, April 10, 2024. Ayatollah Khamenei reiterated on Wednesday a promise to retaliate against Israel over the killings of Iranian generals in Syria. (Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader via AP)

In this photo released by an official website of the office of the Iranian supreme leader, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei leads Eid al-Fitr prayer marking the end of the Muslims holy fasting month of Ramadan, in Tehran, Iran, Wednesday, April 10, 2024. Ayatollah Khamenei reiterated on Wednesday a promise to retaliate against Israel over the killings of Iranian generals in Syria. (Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader via AP)

Analysts believe both Iran and Israel, regional archrivals locked in a shadow war for years, are trying to dial back tensions following a series of escalatory attacks between them as the Israel-Hamas war in the Gaza Strip rages on and inflames the wider region.

Khamenei, 85, made the comments in a meeting attended by the top ranks of Iran's regular military, police and paramilitary Revolutionary Guard, a powerful force within its Shiite theocracy.

“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 said in remarks aired by state television.

“The main issue is the emergence of the Iranian nation and Iranian military’s will in an important international arena. This is what matters.”

Iran launched hundreds of drones, ballistic missiles and cruise missiles that sought to overwhelm Israel's air defenses in the April 13 attack — the first on Israel by a foreign power since Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein launched Scud missiles at Israel in the 1991 Gulf War.

However, Israeli air defenses and fighter jets, backed by the U.S., the United Kingdom and neighboring Jordan, shot down the vast majority of the incoming fire.

Satellite images analyzed Saturday by The Associated Press showed the Iranian attack caused only minor damage at the Nevatim air base in southern Israel, including taking a chunk out of a taxiway that Israel quickly repaired.

Iran's attack came in response to a suspected Israeli strike on April 1 targeting a consular building next to the Iranian Embassy in Damascus, Syria, which killed two Guard generals and others.

“Today, thanks to the work done by our armed forces, the Revolutionary Guard, the army, the police, each in its own way, praise be to Allah the image of the country around the world has become commendable," added Khamenei, despite Iran facing public anger over its economy and crackdowns on dissent.

In other developments, Iraqi security forces in the western Nineveh province area were searching for “outlaw elements” who fired missiles across the border into Syria late Sunday, targeting a base for U.S.-led coalition forces, Iraq's Security Media Cell said.

The searchers had found and destroyed a missile launcher, the statement added.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the reported attack.

Maj. Gen. Tahseen al-Khafaji, head of the Security Media Cell, said about five missiles were launched across the border but it was unclear if they had hit or caused any damage at the targeted base.

U.S. officials did not comment on whether any U.S. facility had been specifically targeted. One official said a coalition fighter destroyed a launcher in self-defense after reports of a failed rocket attack near a coalition base at Rumalyn, Syria. No U.S. personnel were injured, according to the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to provide details that were not yet public.

Two nights earlier, an explosion struck a base in Iraq belonging to the Popular Mobilization Forces, a coalition of Iran-allied militias, killing one person and injuring eight.

Militia officials initially described the explosion at the Kalsu military base north of Babylon as an airstrike that they blamed on U.S. forces. The U.S. Central Command denied it had carried out any airstrikes in Iraq, and Iraq’s Security Media Cell said the country’s air defense command had not detected any drones or war planes in near Babylon before or during the explosion.

The PMF is designated as an “independent military formation” within the Iraqi armed forces.

In recent months, some of the coalition's member groups have staged attacks on U.S. forces based in the region, which they said was in retaliation for Washington’s support of Israel in its war with Hamas in Gaza. Those attacks halted after three U.S. soldiers were killed in a strike on a base in Jordan, near the Syrian border in late January, prompting U.S. retaliatory strikes in Iraq.

Associated Press writer Tara Copp in Washington contributed to this report.

In this photo released by the official website of the office of the Iranian supreme leader, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei speaks in his meeting with a group of senior military leaders, in Tehran, Iran, Sunday, April 21, 2024. Iran's supreme leader on Sunday dismissed any discussion of whether Tehran's unprecedented drone-and-missile attack on Israel hit anything there, a tacit acknowledgment that despite launching a massive assault, few projectiles actually made through to their targets. (Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader via AP)

In this photo released by the official website of the office of the Iranian supreme leader, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei speaks in his meeting with a group of senior military leaders, in Tehran, Iran, Sunday, April 21, 2024. Iran's supreme leader on Sunday dismissed any discussion of whether Tehran's unprecedented drone-and-missile attack on Israel hit anything there, a tacit acknowledgment that despite launching a massive assault, few projectiles actually made through to their targets. (Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader via AP)

A missile is on display with a sign on it reading in Farsi: "Death to Israel" in front of a mosque in the shape of Dome of the Rock of Jerusalem at an entrance of the Quds town west of the capital Tehran, Iran, Sunday, April 21, 2024. Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei on Sunday dismissed any discussion of whether Tehran's unprecedented drone-and-missile attack on Israel hit anything there, a tacit acknowledgment that despite launching a massive assault, few projectiles actually made through to their targets. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)

A missile is on display with a sign on it reading in Farsi: "Death to Israel" in front of a mosque in the shape of Dome of the Rock of Jerusalem at an entrance of the Quds town west of the capital Tehran, Iran, Sunday, April 21, 2024. Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei on Sunday dismissed any discussion of whether Tehran's unprecedented drone-and-missile attack on Israel hit anything there, a tacit acknowledgment that despite launching a massive assault, few projectiles actually made through to their targets. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)

A missile is on display with a sign on it reading in Farsi: "Death to Israel" in front of a mosque in the shape of Dome of the Rock of Jerusalem at an entrance of the Quds town west of the capital Tehran, Iran, Sunday, April 21, 2024. Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei on Sunday dismissed any discussion of whether Tehran's unprecedented drone-and-missile attack on Israel hit anything there, a tacit acknowledgment that despite launching a massive assault, few projectiles actually made through to their targets. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)

A missile is on display with a sign on it reading in Farsi: "Death to Israel" in front of a mosque in the shape of Dome of the Rock of Jerusalem at an entrance of the Quds town west of the capital Tehran, Iran, Sunday, April 21, 2024. Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei on Sunday dismissed any discussion of whether Tehran's unprecedented drone-and-missile attack on Israel hit anything there, a tacit acknowledgment that despite launching a massive assault, few projectiles actually made through to their targets. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)

A missile is on display with a sign on it reading in Farsi: "Death to Israel" in front of a mosque in the shape of Dome of the Rock of Jerusalem at an entrance of the Quds town west of the capital Tehran, Iran, Sunday, April 21, 2024. Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei on Sunday dismissed any discussion of whether Tehran's unprecedented drone-and-missile attack on Israel hit anything there, a tacit acknowledgment that despite launching a massive assault, few projectiles actually made through to their targets. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)

A missile is on display with a sign on it reading in Farsi: "Death to Israel" in front of a mosque in the shape of Dome of the Rock of Jerusalem at an entrance of the Quds town west of the capital Tehran, Iran, Sunday, April 21, 2024. Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei on Sunday dismissed any discussion of whether Tehran's unprecedented drone-and-missile attack on Israel hit anything there, a tacit acknowledgment that despite launching a massive assault, few projectiles actually made through to their targets. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)

In this photo released by the official website of the office of the Iranian supreme leader, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, right, speaks in his meeting with a group of senior military leaders, in Tehran, Iran, Sunday, April 21, 2024. Iran's supreme leader on Sunday dismissed any discussion of whether Tehran's unprecedented drone-and-missile attack on Israel hit anything there, a tacit acknowledgment that despite launching a massive assault, few projectiles actually made through to their targets. (Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader via AP)

In this photo released by the official website of the office of the Iranian supreme leader, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, right, speaks in his meeting with a group of senior military leaders, in Tehran, Iran, Sunday, April 21, 2024. Iran's supreme leader on Sunday dismissed any discussion of whether Tehran's unprecedented drone-and-missile attack on Israel hit anything there, a tacit acknowledgment that despite launching a massive assault, few projectiles actually made through to their targets. (Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader via AP)

In this photo released by an official website of the office of the Iranian supreme leader, a group of senior military leaders, listen to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in their meeting in Tehran, Iran, Sunday, April 21, 2024. Iran's supreme leader on Sunday dismissed any discussion of whether Tehran's unprecedented drone-and-missile attack on Israel hit anything there, a tacit acknowledgment that despite launching a massive assault, few projectiles actually made through to their targets. (Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader via AP)

In this photo released by an official website of the office of the Iranian supreme leader, a group of senior military leaders, listen to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in their meeting in Tehran, Iran, Sunday, April 21, 2024. Iran's supreme leader on Sunday dismissed any discussion of whether Tehran's unprecedented drone-and-missile attack on Israel hit anything there, a tacit acknowledgment that despite launching a massive assault, few projectiles actually made through to their targets. (Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader via AP)

In this photo released by the official website of the office of the Iranian supreme leader, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, center, leads a prayer during his meeting with a group of senior military leaders, in Tehran, Iran, Sunday, April 21, 2024. Iran's supreme leader on Sunday dismissed any discussion of whether Tehran's unprecedented drone-and-missile attack on Israel hit anything there, a tacit acknowledgment that despite launching a massive assault, few projectiles actually made through to their targets. (Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader via AP)

In this photo released by the official website of the office of the Iranian supreme leader, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, center, leads a prayer during his meeting with a group of senior military leaders, in Tehran, Iran, Sunday, April 21, 2024. Iran's supreme leader on Sunday dismissed any discussion of whether Tehran's unprecedented drone-and-missile attack on Israel hit anything there, a tacit acknowledgment that despite launching a massive assault, few projectiles actually made through to their targets. (Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader via AP)

In this photo released by an official website of the office of the Iranian supreme leader, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei speaks in his meeting with a group of senior military leaders, in Tehran, Iran, Sunday, April 21, 2024. Iran's supreme leader on Sunday dismissed any discussion of whether Tehran's unprecedented drone-and-missile attack on Israel hit anything there, a tacit acknowledgment that despite launching a massive assault, few projectiles actually made through to their targets. (Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader via AP)

In this photo released by an official website of the office of the Iranian supreme leader, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei speaks in his meeting with a group of senior military leaders, in Tehran, Iran, Sunday, April 21, 2024. Iran's supreme leader on Sunday dismissed any discussion of whether Tehran's unprecedented drone-and-missile attack on Israel hit anything there, a tacit acknowledgment that despite launching a massive assault, few projectiles actually made through to their targets. (Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader via AP)

In this photo released by an official website of the office of the Iranian supreme leader, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei leads Eid al-Fitr prayer marking the end of the Muslims holy fasting month of Ramadan, in Tehran, Iran, Wednesday, April 10, 2024. Ayatollah Khamenei reiterated on Wednesday a promise to retaliate against Israel over the killings of Iranian generals in Syria. (Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader via AP)

In this photo released by an official website of the office of the Iranian supreme leader, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei leads Eid al-Fitr prayer marking the end of the Muslims holy fasting month of Ramadan, in Tehran, Iran, Wednesday, April 10, 2024. Ayatollah Khamenei reiterated on Wednesday a promise to retaliate against Israel over the killings of Iranian generals in Syria. (Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader via AP)

GENEVA (AP) — U.N. member countries on Friday concluded a new treaty to help ensure that traditional knowledge about genetic resources, like medicines derived from exotic plants in the Andes mountains, is properly traced.

It marks the first time the 193 member states of the U.N.’s World Intellectual Property Organization have reached agreement on patent protections about historic knowledge from indigenous cultures, which have long been exploited by colonists, traders and others.

The treaty doesn’t address compensation to indigenous communities for their historic expertise about products drawn from things like from tropical plants.

But the accord is seen as an important first step. It requires patent applicants, like foreign entrepreneurs or international companies, to specify where they got ideas about what goes into their products, especially inputs drawn from the knowledge of indigenous or local peoples.

Daren Tang, the organization’s director-general, said the agreement showed that “multilateralism is alive and well at WIPO.”

“Today we made history in many ways,” he said. “Through this, we are showing that the IP system can continue to incentivize innovation while evolving in a more inclusive way, responding to the needs of all countries and their communities.”

The WIPO Intellectual Property, Genetic Resources and Associated Traditional Knowledge treaty, reached by consensus after more than two decades in the making, will take effect as international law after 15 countries adopt it.

The agreement centers on genetic resources like medicinal plants, crops from farms and some animal breeds. It will not be retroactive, meaning that it’s only applicable to future discoveries, not past ones.

WIPO’s rules don’t allow for intellectual property protection of natural or genetic resources themselves but do help to safeguard inventions — by people — that put those resources to work for humankind, whether historically or recently.

The deal will, for example, require companies in industries like fashion, luxury goods and pharmaceuticals to specify the origin of the plant-based chemicals in medicines or plants in skin creams that they use for their products, if drawn from local knowledge.

FILE - Andean farmers take part in a ceremony honoring Mother Earth and Father Snowy Mountain, in Pitumarca, Peru, April 4, 2018. U.N. member countries on Friday concluded a new treaty to help ensure that traditional knowledge about genetic resources – like medicines derived from exotic plants in the Andes mountains – is properly traced. (AP Photo/Martin Mejia, File)

FILE - Andean farmers take part in a ceremony honoring Mother Earth and Father Snowy Mountain, in Pitumarca, Peru, April 4, 2018. U.N. member countries on Friday concluded a new treaty to help ensure that traditional knowledge about genetic resources – like medicines derived from exotic plants in the Andes mountains – is properly traced. (AP Photo/Martin Mejia, File)

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