“Neither the region nor the world can afford more war,” warns the UN Secretary General

Antonio Guterres urged Iran, Israel and their allies to exercise restraint, after the unprecedented shots fired by Tehran against Israeli territory on the night of April 13 to 14.


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United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres during a meeting of the UN Security Council on April 14, 2024. (FATIH AKTAS / ANADOLU / AFP)

The United Nations continues to seek de-escalation in the Middle East. During an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council on Sunday April 14, following Iran’s strikes against Israel the previous night, the organization’s secretary general repeated his calls for calm. “Neither the region nor the world can afford more war”launched Antonio Guterres, who believes that “The Middle East is on the brink of the precipice”.

“The populations of the region face a real danger of devastating generalized conflict. It is time for defusing and de-escalation”he insisted. “Now is the time to show maximum restraint.” “It is vital to avoid any action that could lead to major military confrontations on multiple fronts in the Middle East,” he added, condemning both the Iranian attack on Israel and the strike against the Iranian consulate in Damascus on April 1.

Iran and Israel accuse each other of destabilization

At the UN platform, the two countries caught in a surge of hostility made a series of accusations. “The mask has fallen. Iran, the world’s leading supporter of terrorism, has exposed its true face as a destabilizer of the region and the world”, launched the Israeli ambassador, Gilad Erdan. The latter asked the Council to designate as “terrorist organization” the Revolutionary Guards, the ideological army of the Islamic Republic, and“impose all possible sanctions against Iran before it is too late”.

For its part, Tehran denies any gratuitous maneuver and considers that it acted in the name of self-defense, after the strike attributed to Israel (but not claimed) against its consulate in Syria. “The Security Council has failed in its duty” by not condemning the April 1 strike, said Iranian Ambassador to the UN Amir Saeid Iravani. And “under these conditions, the Islamic Republic of Iran had no choice but to exercise its right to self-defense”he added, assuring that Tehran did not want an escalation, but would respond to “any threat or aggression”.

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