Persian hero Arash

US urges Israel to avoid escalation of hostilities against Iran

April 15, 2024
2 mins read

The U.S. urged Israel Monday to show restraint and avoid an escalation of the conflict in the Middle East as the Israeli government mulls over how to respond to Iran’s weekend attack with more than 300 missiles and drones.

“We don’t seek escalation, but we’ll continue to support the defense of Israel and to protect our personnel in the region,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said at the start of a meeting with Iraq’s Deputy Prime Minister Mohammed Ali Tamim.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu summoned his war Cabinet Monday for the second time in less than 24 hours, a government source said.

Fears grow that Iran’s attack could lead to open warfare between Israel and Iran, and spill over onto the wider region in the Middle East.

President Joe Biden has told Netanyahu the United States will not partake in any Israeli counteroffensive against Iran.

Since the start of the Oct. 7 war between Israel and Hamas, clashes have spread between Israel and Iran proxies in Lebanon, Syria, Yemen and Iraq.

Israel said four of its soldiers were wounded hundreds of meters inside Lebanese territory overnight, as Israel exchanged weapons fire with Lebanon’s armed group Hezbollah.

“We’re on the edge of the cliff and we have to move away from it,” Josep Borrell, the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, told Spanish radio station Onda Cero. “We have to step on the brakes and reverse gear.”

French President Emmanuel Macron said Monday his government will do all it can to avoid an escalation of the situation between Israel and Iran.

Speaking to French media BFM-TV and RMC, Macron also urged Israel to pursue isolation of Iran rather than escalation.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz issued a similar message Monday warning Iran against further attacks on Israel, while calling on Israel to play its role in deescalating the situation.

Countries including Belgium and Germany summoned the Iranian ambassadors.

Russia has refrained from criticizing its ally Iran in public over the strikes but expressed concern about the risk of escalation of hostilities Monday, urging restraint.

“Further escalation is in no one’s interests,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

Israeli authorities announced educational activities would resume Monday, and that limits on large gatherings would be lifted in most places.

In Iran, state media said operations at the country’s airports were back to normal after being suspended due to the aerial attack on Israel.

Iran launched the airstrikes in response to a suspected Israeli airstrike on its embassy compound in Syria on April 1 that killed seven Iranian Revolutionary Guards officers including two senior commanders.

Iran’s weekend drone attack caused only modest damage in Israel and no deaths. Most were shot down by Israel’s Iron Dome defense system and with help from the U.S., Britain, France and Jordan.

Israel had warned Iran against launching any retaliatory strike from Iranian soil. Iran said its response was confined to the late Saturday attack, and warned Israel and the United States of a much larger action if Israel now attacks Iran.

Diplomats have condemned Iran’s attack, while working to prevent the situation from escalating into a wider conflict.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin held calls Sunday with their counterparts in Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Egypt and Jordan.

The Group of Seven (G7) leading industrialized nations “unequivocally” condemned Iran’s attack on Israel after holding talks Sunday.

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said Monday the group is working on a package of coordinated measures against Iran following Saturday’s retaliatory missile and drone attack on Israel.

“We are urgently working with our allies to see what steps we can take together in a coordinated fashion to deter and condemn what Iran is doing,” Sunak said in parliament, citing discussions among G7 leaders over the weekend.

Sunday’s G7 session was called by Italy, which holds the rotating presidency of the group. Its members also include Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Japan and the United States.

VOA’s Michael Lipin, United Nations correspondent Margaret Besheer and national security correspondent Jeff Seldin contributed to this report. Some information was provided by The Associated Press and Reuters.

About Us

The Washington inquirer seeks the truth and helps people understand the world. Breaking News, data & opinions in business, sports, entertainment, travel, lifestyle, plus much more.

Latest from Blog