Pandor calls for restraint following Iran’s drone, missile attack

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The Department of International Relations and Cooperation Minister DR Naledi Pandor has called for restraint on the part of all parties following Iran’s drone and missile attack on Israel on Saturday night.

Iran launched over 300 drones and missiles on Israel, in it’s first ever attack on the country.

It comes after an Israeli attack on Iran’s consulate in Syria two weeks ago, with Iran saying the matter can now be deemed concluded.

Syria Attack | Iran vows revenge after Israeli missiles kill officers at consulate in Damascus:

Speaking on the sidelines of the campaign trail in Durban, in KwaZulu-Natal, Pandor says the focus should remain on agreeing on a ceasefire in Gaza.

“And as the government of South Africa as always we urge restraint on the part of all parties and we remind everyone that the core focus must be freedom and justice of the people of Palestine. And so what we should be focusing on is a ceasefire, because too much death has happened. We want a stop to this murderous onslaught.”

Pandor adds that she believes Iran has demonstrated it can act against Israel, while showing restraint.

“Iran appears to have shown some restraint in that there hasn’t been a massive set of fatalities as we have seen with Israel with Palestinian people. And we hope that the responsibility that Iran has shown by not having a strike where huge harm and fatalities are caused, is something that is sustained by both sides.”

Middle East Conflict | ‘We urge restraint on the part of all parties’: Naledi Pandor:

Here is some reaction to the attack from official statements and postings on social media:

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

“In recent years, and especially in recent weeks, Israel has been preparing for a direct attack by Iran. Our defensive systems are deployed; we are ready for any scenario, both defensively and offensively. The State of Israel is strong. The IDF is strong. The public is strong.”

“We appreciate the US standing alongside Israel, as well as the support of Britain, France and many other countries. We have determined a clear principle: Whoever harms us, we will harm them. We will defend ourselves against any threat and will do so level-headedly and with determination.”

Iran’s mission to the United Nations

“… Iran’s military action was in response to the Zionist regime’s aggression against our diplomatic premises in Damascus. The matter can be deemed concluded. However, should the Israeli regime make another mistake, Iran’s response will be considerably more severe. It is a conflict between Iran and the rogue Israeli regime, from which the U.S. MUST STAY AWAY!”

US President Joe Biden

“I just met with my national security team for an update on Iran’s attacks against Israel. Our commitment to Israel’s security against threats from Iran and its proxies is ironclad.”

US House of Representatives Speaker Mike Johnson

“As Israel faces this vicious attack from Iran, America must show our full resolve to stand with our critical ally. The world must be assured: Israel is not alone.”

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres

“I strongly condemn the serious escalation represented by the large-scale attack launched on Israel by the Islamic Republic of Iran this evening. I call for an immediate cessation of these hostilities.

“I am deeply alarmed about the very real danger of a devastating region-wide escalation. I urge all parties to exercise maximum restraint to avoid any action that could lead to major military confrontations on multiple fronts in the Middle East. I have repeatedly stressed that neither the region nor the world can afford another war.”

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak

“I condemn in the strongest terms the Iranian regime’s reckless attack against Israel. These strikes risk inflaming tensions and destabilising the region. Iran has once again demonstrated that it is intent on sowing chaos in its own backyard.”

“The UK will continue to stand up for Israel’s security and that of all our regional partners, including Jordan and Iraq. Alongside our allies, we are urgently working to stabilise the situation and prevent further escalation. No one wants to see more bloodshed.”

SABC News Correspondent Alex Cadier updates on Iran’s attack on Israel:

Additional Reporting Reuters