Israel’s Allies Make a Full-Court Press to Urge Restraint

Israel’s allies on Monday were strongly urging it not to retaliate against Iran for the missile and drone attack over the weekend, calling instead for a de-escalation of the tensions that have gripped the Middle East.

The Iranian aerial assault — itself a retaliation for a strike that killed Iranian commanders in Syria — was the first time that Tehran had launched open attacks against Israel from its own soil. As some far-right members of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government called for a strong response, the United States, the Group of 7 nations, the European Union and the U.N. secretary general were among those counseling restraint.

Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken emphasized the need to prevent further escalation in a flurry of calls on Sunday with his counterparts in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Turkey, Britain and Germany, according to State Department statements.

More of Israel’s allies joined the chorus on Monday. Britain’s foreign secretary, David Cameron, called the Iranian attack — which involved hundreds of missiles and drones, nearly all of which were intercepted — “reckless and dangerous,” but a “total failure.”

“We are urging that they shouldn’t escalate,” Mr. Cameron told Sky News, referring to Israel. “This is a time to think with head as well as heart. To be smart as well as tough.”

President Emmanuel Macron of France also urged Israel to avoid a military escalation. He told French news media on Monday that France would work with allies to continue isolating Tehran by “increasing sanctions, increasing pressure on nuclear activities and then finding a path to peace in the region.”

Iranian officials signaled on Sunday that they were seeking to prevent further escalation, and that Iran’s retaliation was over unless Israel struck back. On Sunday evening, Israel’s war cabinet met without deciding how to respond to Iran’s assault, an official who was briefed on the meeting said. The cabinet was scheduled to meet again on Monday afternoon, Israeli news media reported..

Back to top button