Helena Lyng Blak
6 weeks ago

Israel-Iran Tensions: “It’s time to step back from the brink,” says UN Secretary General

At a UN emergency meeting the Secretary General stressed the importance of de-escalation.
2021: UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres addresses the media on the Informal Leaders Roundtable on Climate Action at UN Headquarters. Photo: lev radin / Shutterstock.com
2021: UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres addresses the media on the Informal Leaders Roundtable on Climate Action at UN Headquarters. Photo: lev radin / Shutterstock.com

On Sunday, the United Nations Security Council met for an emergency session at the “urgent request” of Israel, according to the UN.

The meeting was requested after Iran’s strike against Israel over the weekend. According to AP News, Israel said that around 300 drones and ballistic missiles were fired against the country. There are no confirmed deaths, but few civilians are reported to have been wounded in the aerial strikes. 

The attack was in retaliation for Israel's alleged strike on the Iranian consulate in Damascus, Syria, killing multiple officials.

In a letter to the UN, Iran stated that it believed the military strike on Israeli objectives were in accordance with Article 51 of the UN Charter which awards nations the right of self-defense.

Israel, on the other hand, asked that the Security Council take action against Iran. 

“As Iran’s mask has fallen, the world’s complacency must also fall,” said the representative of Israel during the session’s discussion, further comparing the Iranian government to the “Third Reich” in its supposed “hegemonic ambitions of global domination” and “death and destruction.”

The Iranian representative responded, asserting his belief in his country’s right to defend itself, stating: “While they have denied Iran’s inherent right to self-defense against the Israeli armed attacks on our diplomatic premises, at the same time, they shamefully justified the Israeli massacre and genocide against the defenseless Palestinian people under the pretext of self-defense.”

Secretary General of the UN António Guterres, however, urged all parties to exercise maximum restraint.

“Regional–and indeed global–peace and security are being undermined by the hour.  Neither the region nor the world can afford more war,” he said.  “Now is the time to defuse and de-escalate.”

The Secretary General further asserted: “It’s time to step back from the brink.”

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