Iran’s attack on Israel: World leaders react

Objects are seen in the sky above Jerusalem after Iran launched drones and missiles towards Israel,
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Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps said it launched dozens of drones and missiles at Israel yesterday, in an attack that could lead to a major escalation between the regional archenemies.

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.”

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

“Canada unequivocally condemns Iran’s airborne attacks against Israel. We stand with Israel. After supporting Hamas’ brutal October 7 attack, the Iranian regime’s latest actions will further destabilize the region and make lasting peace more difficult.”

“These attacks demonstrate yet again the Iranian regime’s disregard for peace and stability in the region. We support Israel’s right to defend itself and its people from these attacks.”

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock

“Iran has fired drones and missiles at Israel. We strongly condemn the ongoing attack, which could plunge an entire region into chaos. Iran and its proxies must stop this immediately. Israel offers our full solidarity at this time.”

German Ambassador to Israel Steffen Seibert

“Germany’s solidarity is with all Israelis tonight whom Iran is terrorising with this unprecedented and ruthless attack: Jews as well as Arabs and Christians, the Bedouins in the Negev as well as the Druze in the Golan. May they all be safe.”

French Foreign Minister Stephane Sejourne

“France condemns in the strongest terms the attack launched by Iran against Israel. By deciding on such an unprecedented action, Iran is taking a new step in its destabilizing actions and taking the risk of a military escalation.”

European Union Foreign Policy Chief Josep Borrell

“The EU strongly condemns the unacceptable Iranian attack against Israel. This is an unprecedented escalation and a grave threat to regional security.”

European Council President Charles Michel

“Strongly condemn the attack launched by Iran on Israel. Everything must be done to prevent further regional escalation. More bloodshed must be avoided. We will continue to follow the situation closely with our partners.”

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez

“We are following events in the Middle East with the deepest concern. We are in permanent contact with our embassies in the region which will remain open to support Spaniards in the area.”

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte 

“Very worrying situation in the Middle East. Earlier today, the Netherlands and other countries sent a loud and clear message to Iran to refrain from attacking Israel. The Netherlands strongly condemns Iran’s attacks on Israel. Further escalation must be prevented. … We continue to monitor developments very closely.”

Danish Foreign Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen 

“Denmark strongly condemns Iran’s announced attack on Israel. I urge everyone to show restraint and de-escalate the situation. Iran’s destabilising role in the Middle East is unacceptable – and so is this attack.”

Norwegian Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide 

“I condemn the illegal and dangerous Iranian attack underway against Israel. This will further deteriorate an already extremely volatile situation. We must prevent further escalation of violence in the Middle East. I call upon all parties to exercise maximum restraint.”

Czech Republic Foreign Ministry

“Czechia firmly condemns the destabilizing behavior of Iran and its proxies who decided to attack Israel. We reiterate the Israeli right to self-defence. Iran’s long-term aggressive behavior is preventing the Middle East region from living in peace and security.”

Colombia’s President Gustavo Petro

“It was predictable; we’re now in the prelude to World War III precisely when humanity should rebuild its economy towards the rapid goal of decarbonisation. The support of the US, in practice, for a genocide has ignited the world. Everyone knows how wars start, no one knows how they end. If only the people of Israel were high enough, like their ancestors, to stop the madness of their ruler. The United Nations must meet urgently and must immediately commit to peace.”

Argentina’s President Javier Milei

“The office of President Javier Milei expresses its solidarity and unwavering commitment to the State of Israel following the attacks by the Islamic Republic of Iran. The Republic of Argentina recognizes the right of State-Nations to defend themselves and strongly supports the State of Israel in the defense of its sovereignty, in particular against regimes that promote terror and seek the destruction of western civilization.”

Paraguay’s President Santiago Pena

“In such difficult times, we express our full support for the people of Israel and are concerned about the increase of violence in the region. We remain in contact with our embassies in the region to serve our compatriots.”

Chile’s Foreign  Minister Alberto van Klaveren 

“We express our concern about the serious escalation of tensions in the Middle East and the Iranian attacks against Israel. Chile condemns the use of force and defends international humanitarian law, which protects civilian lives in armed conflicts.”

Mexico’s Foreign Ministry

“The government of Mexico expresses deep concern over Iran’s attack against Israeli territory and the impact that this could have on thousands of human lives. Mexico condemns the use of force in international relations and calls on the parties to self-restrain and seek solutions peacefully to avoid a more general conflict in the Middle East.

Mexico also emphasizes the importance of respecting international law for the sake of international peace and security.”

Alex Cadier updates on the latest on Iran’s missile attack on Israel