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World Leaders urge Israel not to retaliate after Iran’s attack, concerned about escalation risk

World leaders are urging Israel not to retaliate after Iran’s attack. British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak says “all sides must show restraint” to avoid a rising spiral of violence in the Middle East. French President Emmanuel Macron said Paris will try to “convince Israel that we must not respond by escalating.”

Quick Read

  • World Leaders Urge Israel Not to Retaliate: In response to Iran’s attack on Israel, global leaders are calling for restraint. UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and French President Emmanuel Macron have specifically urged Israel to avoid escalating the conflict.
  • UN Security Council Expresses Concern: During a meeting originally focused on Yemen, the UN Security Council discussed the potential for escalation following the Iranian attack. The council emphasized the need for maximum restraint among all parties involved.
  • Iran’s Display of Military Capability: Iran demonstrated its military capability by using ballistic missiles in its attack, although it claimed that the operation was concluded after the initial barrage.
  • US and Russian Responses: The United States played a significant role in defending Israel during the attack. Russia expressed extreme concern about the situation and called for all conflicts in the region to be resolved through political and diplomatic means.
  • Austrian and German Reactions: Austria’s foreign minister condemned Iran’s actions and emphasized the importance of de-escalation. Germany’s government echoed this sentiment, urging restraint and emphasizing the success of Israel’s air defenses in repelling the attack.
  • Economic Implications and Public Reaction: The attack briefly influenced oil prices, but they stabilized after it became clear that the immediate crisis had been contained. Public demonstrations in various countries showed both support for and opposition to the actions taken by Israel and Iran.

The Associated Press has the story:

World Leaders urge Israel not to retaliate after Iran’s attack, concerned about escalation risk


World leaders are urging Israel not to retaliate. British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak says “all sides must show restraint” to avoid a rising spiral of violence in the Middle East. French President Emmanuel Macron said Paris will try to “convince Israel that we must not respond by escalating.”


A United Nations Security Council meeting on Yemen on Monday touched on the risk of escalation after Iran’s attack on Israel.

Diplomats are calling this “a particularly dangerous moment in the Middle East,” as U.N. special envoy for Yemen Hans Grundberg said.

“The need for broader regional de-escalation is acute,” he added. “I share the secretary-general’s alarm about the very real danger of regionwide escalation and his urging to all parties for maximum restraint.”

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres addresses the United Nations Security Council during an emergency meeting at U.N. headquarters, Sunday, April 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Yuki Iwamura)

A U.N. Security Council emergency meeting Sunday to discuss the attack ended without any action taken.

“Now is the time to defuse and de-escalate,” U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres said. “Now is the time for maximum restraint.”


LONDON — British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak says “all sides must show restraint” to avoid a rising spiral of violence in the Middle East.

Sunak on Monday condemned Iran’s attack on Israel as “a reckless and dangerous escalation.” He said he would speak to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to express the U.K.’s solidarity with Israel “and to discuss how we can prevent further escalation.”

Britain’s Prime Minister Rishi Sunak addresses the media at Downing Street in London, on March 1, 2024. Britain’s main opposition parties are demanding that the Conservative government publish legal advice it has received on whether Israel has broken international humanitarian law during the war in Gaza. They say the U.K. should ban weapons sales to Israel if the law has been broken. (AP Photo/Alberto Pezzali)

Britain is urging Israel to refrain from a retaliatory strike. Sunak told lawmakers in the House of Commons that “we want to see calmer heads prevail.”

He said Israel’s security is “non-negotiable,” but added that the conflict in Gaza must be brought to an end, and the world “must invest more deeply in the two-state solution.”


WASHINGTON — Iran had about 150 ballistic missiles capable of reaching Israel from Iranian territory, and appears to have used up most of that current stockpile in its weekend attack, retired Gen. Frank McKenzie, the former head of U.S. CENTCOM said Monday.

A model of a missile is carried by Iranian demonstrators as minarets and dome of a mosque is seen at background during an anti-Israeli gathering at the Felestin (Palestine) Sq. in Tehran, Iran, Monday, April 15, 2024. World leaders are urging Israel not to retaliate after Iran launched an attack involving hundreds of drones, ballistic missiles and cruise missiles. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)

McKenzie discussed the attack in a panel discussion with the Jewish Institute for National Security of America, a Washington-based think tank and lobbying group.

McKenzie argued that Iran’s expenditure of those 150 long-range missiles, out of a total ballistic missile stockpile of about 3,000, showed that Iran’s barrage on Israel “was a maximum effort. It was an indiscriminate effort.”

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian speaks during a meeting with foreign ambassadors and envoys to Tehran, Iran, Sunday, April 14, 2024. Iran launched its first direct military attack against Israel on Saturday night in response to a strike widely blamed on Israel that hit an Iranian consular building in Syria earlier this month and killed two Iranian generals. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)

The U.S. and its partners in the region are easily able to track when Iran brings its ballistic missiles out of storage and positions them on launch pads, he said.

When Iran launches, deep space sensors detect that immediately, he said. Radars in the region then catch when any missiles break the radar plane, he said.

Especially given the distance involved, “it is hard for Iran to generate a bolt from the blue against Israel,” McKenzie said.


MOSCOW — The Kremlin is “extremely concerned” about the situation in the Middle East, its spokesman said Monday.

Dmitry Peskov told his daily conference call with reporters that Moscow urges “all countries in the region to show restraint.”

FILE – Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov speaks to journalists in Moscow, Russia, on Dec. 23, 2021. The Kremlin says there was no breakthrough in the latest round of talks with Ukraine. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Wednesday it was a “positive factor” that Ukraine submitted its written proposals, but added that “we can’t say there has been something promising or any breakthroughs.” He emphasized in a call with reporters that there is still a lot of work ahead following Tuesday’s talks in Istanbul. (AP Photo)

“Further escalation is in no one’s interests. Therefore, of course, we advocate that all disagreements be resolved exclusively by political and diplomatic methods,” Peskov said.


BERLIN -– Austria’s foreign minister has spoken with his Iranian counterpart to condemn Tehran’s attack on Israel and call on Iran to rein in its proxies in the Middle East.

Alexander Schallenberg said in a statement he told Iran’s Hossein Amirabdollahian on Monday that “we cannot afford another front in the Middle East. There would only be losers, in the region and beyond.”

Schallenberg said he also urged Amirabdollahian to “exercise Iran’s influence on proxies in the region.”

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian, center, arrives for a meeting with foreign ambassadors and envoys to Tehran, Iran, Sunday, April 14, 2024. Iran launched its first direct military attack against Israel on Saturday night in response to a strike widely blamed on Israel that hit an Iranian consular building in Syria earlier this month and killed two Iranian generals. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)

Austria hosted talks on Iran’s nuclear agreement with world powers in 2015.

Amirabdollahian already spoke on Sunday with German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock. A spokesperson for Baerbock, Christian Wagner, said Iran’s ambassador to Germany was summoned to the Foreign Ministry in Berlin on Monday.


Oil prices fell Monday after Iran’s missile and drone strike failed to cause widespread damage in Israel and the U.S. administration made it clear it did not support a wider war with Iran.

Analysts say the chief risk to oil prices from the Israel-Hamas war is if the conflict escalates and disrupts oil supplies from Iran and Persian Gulf producers through the Strait of Hormuz choke point.

Israeli Iron Dome air defense system launches to intercept missiles fired from Iran, in central Israel, Sunday, April 14, 2024. Iran launched its first direct military attack against Israel on Saturday. The Israeli military says Iran fired more than 100 bomb-carrying drones toward Israel. Hours later, Iran announced it had also launched much more destructive ballistic missiles. (AP Photo/Tomer Neuberg)

The stance taken by Iran, which said the matter “can be deemed concluded” with the retaliatory strikes, and the U.S. position reassured oil traders, who sent the price of international benchmark Brent crude 0.7% lower to $89.82 per barrel in Monday morning trading. That is below the levels just above $90 per barrel seen on Friday before the weekend attacks.

FILE – A battery of Israel’s Iron Dome defense missile system, deployed to intercept rockets, sits in Ashkelon, southern Israel, Aug. 7, 2022. An incoming attack by Iranian drones and ballistic missiles Sunday, April 14, 2024, poses the latest challenge to Israel’s air defense system, which already has been working overtime to cope with incoming rocket, drone and missile attacks throughout the six-month war against Hamas. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit, File)

Risks that could send prices higher include any Israeli strike against Iranian oil facilities or tougher enforcement of sanctions against Iran by the U.S. “Any retaliation by Israel … especially one that targets Iran’s oil facilities, will have major implications for energy markets,” said analysts at S&P Global.

Tougher sanctions enforcement against Iranian oil shipments by the U.S. could raise oil prices but would risk higher inflation and pump prices for U.S. motorists in an election year.


BERLIN — German Chancellor Olaf Scholz is calling on Israel to “contribute to de-escalation” in the Middle East following Iran’s attack on the country.

Scholz told reporters in Shanghai on Monday that “Iran must stop this aggression.”

Germany’s Chancellor Olaf Scholz speaks with the media as he arrives for a EU Summit in Brussels, Thursday, March 21, 2024. European Union leaders are gathering to consider new ways to help boost arms and ammunition production for Ukraine. Leaders will also discuss in Thursday’s summit the war in Gaza amid deep concern about Israeli plans to launch a ground offensive in the city of Rafah. (AP Photo/Omar Havana)

Asked whether he will attempt to dissuade Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu from a military response to Saturday night’s attack, he said there’s widespread agreement that Israel’s success in largely repelling the attack with allies’ help was “really impressive.”

He added that “this is a success that perhaps also should not be thrown away. Hence also our advice to contribute to de-escalation themselves.”

Germany is a staunch ally of Israel.


KAMPALA, Uganda — Some African governments are urging Israel and Iran to avoid an escalation of the conflict.

While Iran’s attack on Israel “represents a real and present threat to international peace and security,” Israel should “show utmost restraint” in its response, President William Ruto of Kenya said in a statement posted on social platform X.

William Samoei Ruto, President of the Republic of Kenya, addresses the United Nations Sustainable Development Forum, Monday, Sept. 18, 2023. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

The warring parties “must exercise the utmost restraint and avoid any act that would escalate tensions in a particularly fragile region,” South Africa’s government said in a statement Sunday.

Nigeria’s Foreign Ministry urged Israel and Iran to “reflect on the universal commitment to peaceful resolution of conflicts.”


LONDON — British Foreign Secretary David Cameron has urged Israel “to be smart as well as tough” and avoid striking back at Iran in response to its drone and missile barrage.

Cameron told the BBC that the U.K. does not support a retaliatory strike. The U.K.’s top diplomat said the attack had been a defeat for Iran and echoed President Joe Biden, who urged Israel to “take the win.”

Britain’s Foreign Secretary David Cameron, left, addresses the media during a press conference with French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna, in Paris, Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2023. Britain and France are reiterating their determination that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine must end in failure. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)

Cameron said Britain’s message to Israel is: “Now is the time to be smart as well as tough, to think with head as well as heart.”

He said British fighter jets had played an “important part” in shooting down some of the more than 300 ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and drones fired at Israel from Iran, but did not provide details.


PARIS — French President Emmanuel Macron said Iran’s attack on Israel was a “disproportionate response” to the bombing of its consulate in the Syrian capital, Damascus. Firing a barrage of missiles and drones on Israel was an “unprecedented, very dangerous” act in the volatile Middle East, Macron said of Saturday’s attacks.

Speaking to French media BFMTV and RMC on Monday, Macron said that France had carried out “interceptions” of missiles that Iran aimed at Israel at the request of Jordan.

French President Emmanuel Macron speaks during a press conference at the Elysee Palace in Paris, Monday, Feb. 26, 2024. More than 20 European heads of state and government and other Western officials are gathering in a show of unity for Ukraine, signaling to Russia that their support for Kyiv isn’t wavering as the full-scale invasion grinds into a third year. (Gonzalo Fuentes/Pool via AP)

“We have condemned, we have intervened, we will do everything to avoid an escalation, an inferno,” Macron said.

He said France will try to “convince Israel that we must not respond by escalating.”

Instead of retaliating by attacking Tehran, France will work to “isolate Iran, increase sanctions and find a path to peace in the region,” Macron said.


PARIS – Germany’s foreign minister says she has made “unmistakably” clear to her Iranian counterpart that Tehran must not further escalate tensions in the Middle East.

Annalena Baerbock spoke by phone Sunday with Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian, following a previous conversation last week before Iran’s attack on Israel. She said she “warned him unmistakably against a further escalation.”

She said at a news conference in Paris on Monday that “Iran is isolated.” She added that “Israel won in a defensive way” thanks to its strong air defense and the intervention of the U.S., Britain and Arab countries.

Germany’s Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock makes statements during a meeting of NATO foreign ministers in Oslo, Norway, Thursday, June 1, 2023. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)

Baerbock said that “it is now important to secure this defensive victory diplomatically” and prevent a regional confrontation.

Asked whether Israel has the right to strike back against Iran, Baerbock said that “the right to self-defense means fending off an attack; retaliation is not a category in international law.” She said she had made that point to Amirabdollahian last week.

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