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UN chief calls for maximum restraint after Iran’s attack on Israel

WorldUN chief calls for maximum restraint after Iran’s attack on Israel

The remains of a rocket booster near Arad, Israel. Photo: Reuters

“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,” Guterres told the meeting, which was called after Iran’s attack. “Neither the region nor the world can afford more war,” Guterres said.

Robert Wood, deputy US ambassador to the UN, called on the 15-member body to unequivocally condemn Iran’s attack, as he said the Security Council has an obligation to not let Iran’s actions go unanswered.

G7 ‘ready to take measures’ in response to further destabilisation by Iran

“In the coming days, and in consultation with other member states, the United States will explore additional measures to hold Iran accountable here at the United Nations,” he said, without providing specifics.

“Let me be clear: if Iran or its proxies take actions against the United States or further action against Israel, Iran will be held responsible,” he said.

Iran’s UN ambassador, Amir Saeid Iravani, said his country’s action was necessary and proportionate, and he said that while Tehran does not seek an escalation or war in the region and has no intention of engaging in conflict with the US, it reaffirms its right to defend itself.

“If the US initiates military operations against Iran, its citizens, or its security and interests, Iran will use its inherent right to respond proportionately,” he said.

Israel’s ambassador to the UN, Gilad Erdan, accused Iran of violating international law at the meeting and played a video on a tablet that he said showed Israel’s interception of Iranian drones above Jerusalem’s al-Aqsa mosque compound, one of Islam’s holiest sites.

“Here, you can look at it,” he gestured with the tablet and told the Iranian ambassador, who was also seated in the Security Council chamber.

Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations Gilad Erdan shows a video of the attacks. Photo: Reuters

Erdan called on the Security Council to condemn Iran, reimpose sanctions and designate Iran’s Revolutionary Guards a terror organisation.

“The snooze button is no longer an option. The only option is to condemn Iran and utilise every means necessary to make them pay a heavy price for their horrible crimes,” Erdan told the meeting, which he requested on Saturday.

Earlier Sunday, China’s foreign ministry expressed “deep concern” following Iran’s attack on Israel.

Iran says it gave warning 72 hours before attacking Israel. Not true, US says

“China expresses deep concern over the current escalation and calls on relevant parties to exercise calm and restraint to prevent further escalation,” the ministry said on Sunday morning.

“This round of escalation is the latest manifestation of the spillover of the Gaza conflict. The most urgent task is to effectively implement United Nations Security Council Resolution 2728 and cease the Gaza conflict as soon as possible,” it said, referring to a resolution adopted last month calling for a ceasefire.

“China calls on the international community, especially influential countries, to play a constructive role in maintaining regional peace and stability.”

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