The United Nations has called on Iran and Israel to show restraint, with the threat of a full-scale direct conflict between the two countries looming over the Middle East.
Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned the adversaries at an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council on Sunday not to further escalate tension in the region with further attacks, following mutual air attacks over the past two weeks. However, Iran and Israel concentrated on accusing one another of being a threat to peace.
Iran launched hundreds of drones and missiles at Israel late on Saturday. The war in Gaza has triggered regular clashes between Iran’s regional allies, such as Hezbollah, Hamas, and the Houthis, and Israel. The direct attack, a retaliation to a strike—still unclaimed by Israel—on Iran’s embassy compound in Syria on April 1, marked a serious escalation.
Heated words were exchanged between Iran and Israel at the meeting, with their representatives calling on the council to impose sanctions on one another. Iran’s UN ambassador, Amir Saeid Iravani, said his country’s action against Israel was necessary and proportionate.
Over 300 drones and missiles were fired at Israel overnight, which Iran said was in response to an April 1 strike on its consulate in Syria.
The United States ruled out joining any Israeli counterattack against Iran, officials said, as Israel’s war cabinet concluded a meeting reportedly without a decision on what action to take in response to Tehran’s first direct attack against the country.
The rising tensions between Iran and Israel come against the backdrop of Israel’s six-month-old war on Gaza, which began after Hamas’s October 7 attack in Israel, resulting in the deaths of 1,139 people, mostly civilians.
Israel’s retaliatory offensive has killed at least 33,729 people in Gaza, mostly women and children, according to the territory’s Ministry of Health.
Israeli forces again bombed the Nuseirat refugee camp in central Gaza, killing five and wounding dozens as the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) met to discuss Iran’s retaliatory strikes against Israel.
The announcement comes as Israel prepares for a ground invasion of Rafah – the southernmost Gaza city that Israel says is Hamas’s last stronghold. Israel last week withdrew most of its remaining ground forces from Gaza after six months of war, leaving its troop levels in the territory at the lowest level in months.

Recommended for you