Iran attacks Israel with salvos of missiles: World leaders call for descalation

Tensions are high after the Iran fires salvos of missiles to Israel in retaliation of the embassy attack in Damascus. As Israel plans a counter-attack, world leaders call for de-escalation.

Publication: 15.04.2024 - 16:02
Iran attacks Israel with salvos of missiles: World leaders call for descalation
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The European Union's foreign policy chief said on Monday the Middle East stood "on the edge of the cliff" and called for de-escalation in the conflict between Israel and Iran.

Iran launched hundreds of drones and missiles at Israel on Saturday night in response to a suspected Israeli attack on the Tehran's consulate in Damascus that killed seven officers of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards including two senior commanders.

Israel has neither confirmed nor denied responsibility for the April 1 airstrike on the consulate in Syria's capital.

"We're on the edge of the cliff and we have to move away from it," EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell told Spanish radio station Onda Cero. "We have to step on the brakes and reverse gear."

Borrell said he expected a response from Israel to the unprecedented aerial attack by Iran but hoped it would not spark further escalation.

He said there was "profound division" within the Israel's right-wing governing coalition between hardliners seeking fierce retaliation and a "more moderate and sensible" faction.

That faction advocates for retaliation, Borrell said, "but in a way that avoids a response to the response".

Borrell, who spoke with Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian late on Sunday, said the EU needed to have the best possible relations with Iran despite the sanctions the bloc has imposed on the Islamic Republic over its disputed nuclear energy programme and other issues.

"It's in everyone's interest that Iran does not become a nuclear power and that the Middle East is pacified," he said.

US Presiden Joe Biden, referring to the impending Israeli counterstrike to Iran, said that the US will not participate in the operation.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will at 2 p.m. (11:00 GMT) on Monday reconvene his war cabinet, the forum empowered by other ministers to decide on any action in response to Iran's weekend drone and missile attack, a government source said.

The war cabinet, comprising Netanyahu, Defence Minister Yoav Gallant, former defence minister Benny Gantz and several observers, previously met on Sunday night, the source said.

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