Iran’s attack on Israel: UN warns region ‘on the brink’

The UN Security Council has held an emergency meeting after Iran's aerial attack on Israel. Israel called for sanctions and a firm response. Iran claimed its actions were "necessary" self-defense.

Sunday’s Security Council meeting was not considering any draft resolution or motion, it was a first call to discuss the situation, starting roughly 24 hours after Iran’s attack was launched. It adjourned once all named speakers had contributed.

Ambassadors from various other UN members — including Russia, China, South Korea, Sierra Leone, Syria, the UK, France, Algeria and more — all contributed to the meeting in New York late on Sunday.

This concludes our weekend updates on Iran’s aerial attack against Israel.

Iranian ambassador claims Tehran had ‘no choice’

Iran’s ambassador repeated Tehran’s claim that it was responding in “self-defense” after the April 1 explosion at its Damascus consulate in Syria, for which Iran blamed Israel.

“The Security Council… failed in its duty to maintain international peace and security,” after that explosion, Amir Saeid Iravani said during Sunday’s session.

Therefore, he said the Islamic Republic “had no choice” but to react, and described the reaction as “necessary and proportionate.”

He claimed his country did not “seek escalation or war,” but also warned it would respond to any “threat or aggression.”

“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.

Iran must ‘pay a heavy price,’ Israeli ambassador tells Security Council

Israel’s ambassador to the UN, Gilad Erdan, accused Iran of violating international law with the attack.

Erdan called on the 15-member council to condemn Iran, reimpose sanctions and designate Iran’s Revolutionary Guards a terror organization.

“The snooze button is no longer an option. The only option is to condemn Iran and utilize every means necessary to make them pay a heavy price for their horrible crimes,” Erdan told the council.

Erdan also 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 to cast his eyes over the footage.

US calls on UN Security Council to condemn Iran attack

The United States’ deputy ambassador to the United Nations urged the Security Council to condemn Iran’s attack during Sunday’s session.

“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,” Robert Wood said.

He also warned against further provocations, including from groups outside Iran supported by Tehran.

“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,” Wood said.

Middle East ‘on the brink,’ UN chief Guterres says

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres made a plea for “maximum restraint following” Iran’s attacks against Israel.

A UN Security Council emergency meeting convened at 4 p.m. local time (2000 GMT/UTC) in New York, after Israel’s ambassador to the UN appealed for a rapid condemnation of Iran’s attack overnight.

“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,” Gutteres said while opening the session.

“Neither the region nor the world can afford more war,” Guterres said.

He also warned all UN members that any retaliation with force would be illegal under international law.

White House says US would not join attack on Iran

The White House has ruled out any participation by the US in a possible Israeli retaliation against Iran.

“We’re not looking for a wider war with Iran,” White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” adding that the United States does not “want to see this escalate.”

According to a White House official, US President Joe Biden told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to “think carefully” about his response.

Kirby said Netanyahu was “well aware” of Biden’s position following a call between the two leaders soon after Iran launched the attack.

US forces said they shot down some 70 drones and between four and six ballistic missiles during Iran’s overnight attack.

Germany’s Baerbock calls to extend sanctions against Iran

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said on Sunday that she was pushing to impose further sanctions on Iran following its attack on Israel.

“We have already introduced drone-related sanctions in Brussels with regard to Russia,” Baerbock said in an interview on German public channel ARD.

“I am intensively advocating for their extension with regard to Iran, since we have seen how dangerously it has acted,” she said.

Earlier Sunday, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said Brussels was looking to discuss further sanctions against Iran over its drone and missile program.

The bloc introduced sanctions in December in response to Iran producing drones that Russia has used in its war in Ukraine.

Source: DW.com

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