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“The Middle East Is on the Brink”: U.N. Calls for Maximum Restraint After Iran Directly Attacks Israel for First Time

HeadlineApr 15, 2024

U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres is calling for maximum restraint after Iran launched 300 drones and missiles at Israel in retaliation for Israel’s recent bombing of the Iranian Consulate in Damascus. The Iranian attack caused little damage after Israel intercepted nearly all of the drones and missiles, with help from the United States, Britain, France and Jordan. One 7-year-old Bedouin girl in Israel was seriously injured in the attack after she was hit by shrapnel. While Iran and Israel have been engaged in a shadow war for years, this marked the first time Iran has directly targeted Israel from Iranian soil. The U.N. secretary-general spoke Sunday at an emergency Security Council meeting.

Secretary-General Antónion Guterres: “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 deescalate. Now is the time for maximum restraint.”

Israeli war cabinet member Benny Gantz has vowed Israel will retaliate against Iran.

Benny Gantz: “In the face of the Iranian threat, we will build a regional coalition and exact the price from Iran in the fashion and timing that is right for us.”

President Biden has reiterated his “ironclad” support for Israel, but he reportedly told Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that the United States will not participate in any retaliatory strikes against Iran.

At the United Nations on Sunday, Iran’s U.N. Ambassador Saeid Iravani defended the missile and drone attack on Israel, saying it was done in self-defense.

Saeid Iravani: “These countries, especially the United States, have shielded Israel from any responsibility for the Gaza massacre. While they have denied Iran’s inherent right to self-defense against the Israeli armed attack on our diplomatic premises, at the same time they shamefully justify the Israeli massacre and genocide against the defenseless Palestinian people under the pretext of self-defense.”

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